Why these 6 teams must move with urgency

As much attention as the NBA trade deadline gets – and it has long and short-term impacts across the league – how often does a deal lead to a championship that season?

In a blockbuster deal last season, the Phoenix Suns acquired Kevin Durant, however, the Suns lost in the second round of the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving to put alongside Luka Doncic a year, but the Mavs didn’t even make the playoffs.

Over the past two decades, the trade deadline has yielded moves that helped a team win a championship:

P.J. Tucker helped the Milwaukee Bucks capture the 2021 title; Marc Gasol pushed the Toronto Raptors over the top in 2019; and Rasheed Wallace propelled the Detroit Pistons to a championship in 2004.

Teams are compelled to make deals for assorted reasons, and here are six teams who can’t stand pat at the trade deadline:

Los Angeles Lakers

Dec 12, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and forward LeBron James (23) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With two All-Stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers are a borderline play-in team. They are not a lock to make the postseason, and they expected a deep run this season after reaching the Western Conference finals in 2023 and putting together what appeared to be a solid offseason with the roster. If the Lakers want to take advantage of James playing at an All-Star level at 39 years old and Davis at an All-NBA level, they need to improve a roster that is average defensively and below average offensively. It doesn’t help optics that the Los Angeles Clippers are surging and the Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA.

First appeared on www.usatoday.com

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