The 2019-20 NBA trade deadline is fast approaching on Feb. 6 and LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be one piece away from being not only championship contenders, but favorites.
That piece could come via trade, free agency, and the buyout market. However, the general consensus remains the Lakers need one more piece.
For the Lakers, they believe that piece is a backup point guard and there are several ways they could go about getting that. They could try and muster up the assets to trade for Derrick Rose or they could try and lure Darren Collison out of retirement, something that has been in talks since early January.
Despite all of this, James is of the belief the Lakers have no need to make a move, and that they can win the 2020 NBA Finals with the core that they have, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
With the trade deadline coming up on Feb. 6th, LeBron was asked if the Lakers are “one piece away” from cementing their championship contender status. LeBron’s answer was both confident, and savvy, preserving team chemistry by not suggesting weakness: “We have enough right now”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 24, 2020
With this being said, the Lakers would still be interested in making a move if the right offer came along. However, general manager Rob Pelinka reportedly has no plans of making a major move, only small trades on the ‘fringes’ of the roster:
Activity often ramps up league-wide in advance of the trade deadline, but the Lakers are still in a fact-finding mode. A person familiar with the team’s plans said the Lakers, who have the best record in the Western Conference, don’t plan to make any dramatic moves, but would be interested in improving the “fringes” of their team if the right deal arises.
It’s unclear whether or not James actually believes the Lakers don’t need to make a single move, but he’s taking the strong leadership approach and trying to avoid anything similar to what happened last season.
In the 2018-19 NBA season, James made it too obvious he wanted the Lakers to trade for Anthony Davis and it corroded the team’s chemistry. This season, the Lakers have formed excellent chemistry and James wants to keep that strong — even if he knows the Lakers need a backup point guard.
Either way, it seems the final decisions will be made by Pelinka and that if a move is made, it likely won’t be one that drastically affects the makeup of this team.