The Los Angeles Lakers are certainly having a better season this year than they were last year. Still, they are currently sitting in the 12th spot in the Western Conference with a record of 15-26 which has them out of the playoff race. That being said, it is time to start looking at possible trades before February's NBA deadline and Luol Deng's name has now started coming up.

Last year, things were much worse and the Lakers were doing a lot of searching on the trade market. At the time, it seemed as if no one was actually safe and that anyone could be dealt away before the NBA trade deadline.

This year, things are a bit calmer, but that hasn't stopped them from at least listening to interesting offers.

The Lakers are sticking with the youth movement

No matter what kind of trade talks may be brought their way, the Lakers are not planning on trading away any of their young stars. They are not interested in entertaining any trade talks for players such as Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell, and Jordan Clarkson. Los Angeles wants to build around them and make those players the future of the organization.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has been saying that the team is very "unlikely" to make any moves before the NBA trade deadline on February 23. He has said that while there is a lot of talk going around the league, none of their players are ever really mentioned because they have not put them on the market.

Luol Deng and Lou Williams could be used as bait

As the Lakers look to keep the youth movement going, they wouldn't pass up an absolutely perfect trade offer if it presented itself. Right now, they could afford to ship out a couple of veteran players to teams that are desperate for help and looking to unload a few younger, unpolished stars.

Both Luol Deng and Lou Williams could draw a good bit of interest from other teams, especially those looking to contend for a playoff spot. As the trade deadline draws closer, any of those teams right on the border of having a spot in their conference could start inquiring about a trade.