11:32 PM ET
LOS ANGELES — Having already made a major move 2½ weeks prior to the NBA’s trade deadline by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday, Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka still stressed urgency in upgrading the roster.
“[We] felt like it was an opportunity for us to strike early and address a need in a market that has proven to be a little bit slow,” Pelinka said before the Lakers lost 133-115 to the LA Clippers on Tuesday, joining Hachimura for an introductory news conference. “And [it] doesn’t mean our work is finished: We’re going to continue to monitor the situation with the 29 other teams. …
“Our job as a front office is always to look to improve our team both now and in the future, and we felt like Rui was the perfect way to do that, and that’s why we struck early.”
Pelinka was asked if the Lakers’ pursuit of additional deals leading up to the Feb. 9 trade deadline will include parting with the franchise’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in order to complete a deal. L.A. was able to hold on to those picks in the