One of the major turning points in the 2018-19 season for the Los Angeles Lakers was the trade deadline. The organization became enamored with very public negotiations to acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. The trade never went through and the fallout has been reported to be a major reason why the team missed the postseason for the sixth straight year.
Lakers guard Josh Hart basically confirmed those rumors, saying that the Lakers players tried to remain professional but were naturally bothered by hearing their names in the rumor mill.
Josh Hart says the noise around the trade deadline was "annoying … The media made it annoying. Social media made it annoying."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 10, 2019
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2019
It’s been clear that the Lakers never recovered from that moment, having little trust for the front office and their teammate, LeBron James. For a lot of the younger players, it was the first time they were ever placed in such a position.
With Magic Johnson now gone, the fate of the Lakers’ players will remain unknown. If they do return, they will have to build up that trust once again to find more success next year.