Here are four takeaways on the Lakers situation:
1. On the surface, it’s easy to understand why the Lakers didn’t make a move to acquire Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors. Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker were the primary names being thrown out there.
Injuries to LeBron James (high right ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (right calf) probably made the Lakers uneasy about repeating as NBA champions, but rather than give a young player like Horton-Tucker, 20, the Lakers decided to stand pat. And Lowry, who just turned 35, was going to be looking for a two-year extension.
2. In talking to six NBA executives, all of them responded with a resounding “No” about the Lakers including Horton-Tucker in any potential trade for Lowry. Horton-Tucker is liked that much by scouts. And the Lakers love his potential and upside. They all loved Horton-Tucker, and that was the same sentiment the Lakers had Thursday.
3. The Lakers will now turn to the buyout market to see if they can get a player that can help. The name to remember here is center Andre Drummond, one of the best rebounders in the league who is expected to get a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers. When it does happen, the Lakers appear to be at the top of his list to join.
4. The Lakers did see a few teams get better by making moves, and that will put more pressure on L.A. in the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets got JaVale McGee, a center who won an NBA championship with the Lakers last season, while Aaron Gordon gives the them more depth in in front court. And Denver did deal without giving up super-talented Michael Porter Jr.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.