With only one day until the NBA Trade Deadline, time is ticking for the Los Angeles Lakers to make a move to upgrade their roster. Adding Hui Hachimura was a nice start, but if they are to ascend the standings and become legitimate contenders, more moves need to be made.

Making those moves, however, is easier said than done. Rob Pelinka is a big hamstrung when it comes to building a trade package given the team’s limited amount of assets. Matching salary is also very difficult outside of building a deal around Russell Westbrook’s enormous expiring contract.

That is something that the Lakers have been trying to do for months, going back to the offseason. Alas, any negotiations that the team had always come back to their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029. 

There was hope that Westbrook would be able to rehab his value and the asking price would decrease. For what it is worth, Westbrook has held up his end of the deal in that regard. He has thrived as the team’s sixth man coming off the bench this season.