Lakers Rumors: Cheapness A Big Motivator For LA At Trade Deadline

The Lakers are negotiating with their luxury tax bill in mind.

With the trade deadline one day away, many are wondering what the Los Angeles Lakers may have up their sleeve. Unfortunately for L.A., the team already lost an opportunity to acquire All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who was sent to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. After a front office fumble like that, a majority of fans are hoping that Los Angeles will still make a bold move before the deadline.

As much as Los Angeles could benefit from adding an All-Star player to their roster, keeping their luxury tax bill down is also a top priority. 

Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register wrote an article on the Lakers’ missing out on the Kyrie Irving deal, but also detailed how the Lakers are negotiating with their luxury tax bill in mind: 

“The rival executive also told SCNG that one of the franchise’s recurring themes in discussions of multiple possible deals is a desire to limit the hit on their repeater tax, which increases exponentially next year as they fill out a cast around James and Anthony Davis.” 

The Lakers are currently near the bottom of the Western Conference with a 25-30 record and continue to fight their way to the play-in tournament. Despite LeBron James producing at a high level in his 20th year in the NBA, he needs some additional pieces to reach his goal of winning another ring.

The playoffs are within reach only if the Lakers can make prominent upgrades to their roster in less than 24 hours. Recent rumors have swirled involving trade packages with teams including the Toronto Raptors and the Utah Jazz.

Although saving money has been a prime factor for the organization, this of course hurts L.A. when trying to attain the necessary talent needed to structure a championship-caliber team.

If the team chooses to take this route and go into the summer as a cap space team, Los Angeles will fall out of the luxury tax to avoid the repeater tax.

NBA salary cap expert Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype explained the Lakers’ cap space situation, now that Irving is out of the mix: 

If the front office is going to make something shake before the deadline, they will most likely have to include at least one of their future draft picks. Los Angeles has first-rounders available to trade in 2027 and 2029.

The team wants to land impactful rotation pieces to elevate their roster, but it comes down to how much they are willing to give up. 

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