Rob Pelinka: Lakers are ‘canvassing the league’ for solutions

Rob Pelinka, the man responsible for putting the pieces together for the Lakers, was succinct when discussing the franchise’s focus.

Pelinka, the Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations, spoke to the media Tuesday night before the 22-26 Lakers hosted the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena. While introducing newly acquired forward Rui Hachimura, Pelinka said, “The calculus for the Lakers is win a championship or not. There is no intermediate or incremental growth. So when we analyze opportunities, we have to do it through that lens.”

To achieve that goal this season, Pelinka would need to make another deal to get LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are about to return to the game, the help they need.

Pelinka will conduct his due diligence leading up to the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline and look for ways he can make the Lakers better.

The Lakers have two valuable first-round draft picks in 2027 and 2029, and teams are looking at those as assets in a potential deal.

“Of course, this is the time of year when we’re looking for ways to improve in a few weeks until the league close,” Pelinka said. “For me that means talking to all 29 other teams and their GMs and just keeping a rhythm and checking in every few days. All teams do that at this time of year.”

What the Lakers can look forward to is the return of Davis, who is celebrating his 20th seasonth straight game with a stress injury on his right foot. He’s been ramping up his work for the past few days, playing five-a-side.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham was under pressure after the team lost to the Clippers on Tuesday night because Davis played the San Antonio Spurs at home on Wednesday night.

“I’ll just put it this way: once we wrap up our assessment in the morning, the possibilities are limitless,” Ham said.

in the loop

Pelinka was asked how much he talks to his two stars, James and Davis, as the trade deadline approaches.

“I think we’ve said before that our captains, LeBron and Anthony Davis, are always involved in what Coach Ham is doing, what the front office is doing,” Pelinka said. “At the same time, I think LeBron said it very well at the press conference the other night when he said, ‘My job is to play basketball. The front office’s job is to do their job and create a roster. And Coach Ham’s job is to coach. I agree with that. We all have to do our job and do it with excellence and all be together. This is how we work and will continue to do so.”

After scoring 46 points, hitting 40+ points in a game for his fourth time this season and a career-high nine three-pointers, James was asked if Pelinka had involved the star forward in trade talks.

“Rob will do his job, that’s his job,” James said. “My job is to be out there on the ground and making sure my guys are locked up and ready to go.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2023-01-25/lakers-clippers-takeaways Rob Pelinka: Lakers are ‘canvassing the league’ for solutions

Emma Bowman

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