Biggest need the Lakers must address at the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline is just days away, and many expect trades to be made. Teams will be looking to make adjustments to the roster to improve their chances of winning and creating them in the future. The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of trade talks and want to make some changes to their roster. With the playoffs approaching, the club is looking to make the necessary moves to secure their championship.

The Lakers have certainly had their ups and downs this year. When Anthony Davis sat out with an injury, the team went into the All-Star break down by one point. The Lakers went into the break with a 3-7 record in their last 10 games and desperately needed a consistent second man alongside LeBron James. Despite the Lakers’ slump, they are still in third place in the Western Conference.

After their stunning run at the championship, the Lakers have done some good things in the offseason. The biggest acquisition was the acquisition of Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Schroeder was a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 19 points per game and shooting 47% from the field. His leadership on and off the court was exactly what the Lakers needed to defend their crown. Despite not being able to work due to medical protocols, Schroeder continues to do competitions at night.

Montrezl Harrell of the Los Angeles Clippers, Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors and Wesley Matthews of the Milwaukee Bucks are also notable Lakers. All three players have playoff experience that could serve the Lakers well. Gasol has championship experience, while the other two only played in the first round of the playoffs.

Lakers need more size on average

Last season, the Lakers didn’t have much size up front. The ability to have two towers under the basket allowed the team to stand out from other opponents. The combination of Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard allowed the Lakers to provide excellent rim and man coverage under the basket. Since the departure of McGee and Howard, the Lakers have lacked consistent defense around the rim all season.

Since Davis’ suspension, the Lakers are allowing 48.6 points in the paint, up from 45.8 last season. As good as Gasol was when he signed in the offseason, defensively he was not good for the line. Gasol’s age and his lack of vertical ability make it difficult to protect the paint as a center for the Lakers.

Two defensive centers could make a big difference for the Lakers, who get McGee and Andre Drummond back. If the Lakers can’t trade McGee this season, they could contract him if he is acquired by the Cavaliers. Drummond is in a special situation with the Cleveland Cavaliers and deserves a fresh start with a team that is in the running.

There might be a chance for Drummond to hold Howard to ransom all season. Last season, Howard’s job was to protect the paint and grab rebounds. When he did his job well, other aspects of the game followed. Drummond could have the same impact if the Lakers sign him before the trade deadline. With James and Davis about to return from injuries, their star status will allow Drummond to play a bigger role for the Lakers.

A reunion with McGee would be a big step for LA. His rotation protocol may have been inconsistent on the bubble, but head coach Frank Vogel understands what he’s putting in each night. McGee’s return to the Lakers would bring a lot of optimism for the rest of the season.

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