The Los Angeles Lakers have less than a week left to improve their playoff chances with a major roster change. The 2023 NBA trade deadline is set for Thursday afternoon, and the Lakers could have trouble securing a postseason spot without making a move.

The Lakers' playoff chances sit at 44% through 53 games, according to ESPN's BPI projections. Los Angeles has +105 odds of making the play-in tournament at DraftKings Sportsbook. The odds indicate that the Lakers have close to a 50% chance of being seeded somewhere from No. 7-10 in the Western Conference when the regular season concludes.

A 25-28 record gives the Lakers the West's No. 12 seed. The Lakers are only one game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the final spot in the play-in tournament. The Minnesota Timberwolves are 2.5 games ahead of Los Angeles for the No. 6 seed, which is the lowest seed that makes the playoffs without having to compete in the play-in tournament.

The West standings are so tightly packed that the Lakers could realistically finish as high as the No. 4 seed. The spot is currently occupied by the Dallas Mavericks, which only sit three games ahead of the Lakers.

The Lakers have already made the one significant trade of the season, acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards. Los Angeles still has two future first-round draft picks that it could potentially use to trade for an All-Star caliber player.

Russell Westbrook has been in trade rumors for much of the season. The Utah Jazz are the latest team to be linked to Westbrook. The Lakers' sixth man would likely be packaged with one or two first-rounders if Los Angeles makes a big splash at the deadline.

The Lakers are hopeful that they can make a playoff run now that Anthony Davis and LeBron James are healthy. Davis was playing at an MVP-level before getting hurt in late 2022. James remains one of the best players in basketball, averaging 30.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.

A significant trade won't automatically put the Lakers in the playoff picture. Even with Davis in the lineup, the Lakers have a losing record. The Lakers are 10-24 against teams that have a .500 record or better.

Los Angeles has failed to win a playoff series in three of the last four seasons. The Lakers win the 2020 NBA Finals during that stretch.

Russell Westbrook
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are left frustrated after the Los Angeles Lakers dropped their third-straight game for the 2022-23 NBA season. Ethan Miller/Getty Images