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Another report not to expect big move from Lakers at trade deadline

Michael Holley continues to be shocked by LeBron James’ consistent excellence at 38 years old, but is he still a truly elite player?

The clock is ticking on the Lakers — LeBron James is playing at an All-NBA level at age 38 and a team four games below .500 and looking up at the play-in tournament in the standings feels like it is squandering that opportunity.

The problem is there are no true game changers for the Lakers available at the trade deadline — the best player likely to be traded is either the Hawks’ John Collins or the Pistons’ Bojan Bogdanovic — which means expect smaller moves, if anything, at the trade deadline. That has been the buzz for weeks, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski echoed that on NBA Countdown Friday night before the Lakers beat the Grizzlies (hat tip Real GM).

“I don’t think there’s any ‘big big’ deals for the Lakers out there, but I do think they’re going to be active around the edges to try to improve this team,” Wojnarowski said.

The Pistons are reportedly asking for an unprotected first-round pick for Bogdanovic (plus Kendrick Nunn and Patrick Beverley to match salaries). The Lakers are wisely not willing to throw in that valuable an asset for a player that doesn’t dramatically move the needle and would eat up most of their valued cap space next summer (Bogdanovic just signed a two-year, $39 million extension that pays him $20 million next season).

There will be rumors — would the Lakers make a big Russell Westbrook trade if one presented itself? Sure. It won’t happen, but they’ll ask — but don’t expect meaningful action from the Lakers. (It’s more likely the team down the hall from them at Arena makes a move.)

LeBron is understandably frustrated, but this looks like a situation that will get dealt with, one way or another, over the summer.