With the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline now past them, the Los Angeles Lakers young core can rest easy knowing there will be no drastic moves.
Although the Lakers were unable to trade for Anthony Davis in a blockbuster deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka improved the team around LeBron James and the young core.
Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala were traded from the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers respectively and should be a part of head coach Luke Walton‘s rotation in the near future. The roster had been short on three-shooters and Bullock and Muscala should help in that area.
Pelinka believes their presence could be a boost to the team’s fortunes much like Julian Edelman’s return to the New England Patriots was, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I almost look at Bullock and Muscala, my hope is, much like Edelman was,” he said. “It’s just one player, but that can have such a big impact on overall chemistry, and I hope those two guys can come in and have that impact.”
Edelman served a four-game suspension to begin the 2018 NFL season, but came back and became an instant jolt to a then-struggling Patriots team. Bullock and Muscala should provide some spacing on the floor for James and the young core to operate, which would in turn get the offense going once again.
However, it is unfortunate that Los Angeles had to trade young assets like Svi Mykhailiuk and Ivica Zubac to get the deals done as both had seen minutes in the rotation under Walton. The thought process of adding multiple playmakers in the offseason was a fine idea on paper, but the Lakers may have been better off prioritizing shooting instead.
Regardless, Bullock and Muscala are now donning purple and gold and could be key players in the team’s playoff push.