The Los Angeles Lakers have privately acknowledged they need to shake up the roster at the trade deadline, sources told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

The Lakers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday by a final score of 131-116. Although the game was competitive in the fourth quarter, the Bucks won by as much as 30 points.

“That tells me we’re not on their level,” LeBron James said flatly when asked if the loss said anything about where the Lakers are. “I mean, I could have told you before the game.”

The Lakers also benched Russell Westbrook late in the game for the second straight game and third time this season. The Lakers outscored Milwaukee 37-28 after Westbrook was substituted in the third quarter and did not return. The Lakers cut Milwaukee’s lead to 10 at one point.

When Frank Vogel conceded the game and pulled James and Anthony Davis off the floor, Westbrook greeted the pair with a big smile on his face, pats on the shoulders and pats on the backs of his hands. James and Davis made minimal eye contact with Westbrook.

James was asked about the trade.

“Look, I want to help AD, I want to help Russ. AD wants to help me, help Russ, and Russ wants to help us,” James said. “Obviously lately Russ hasn’t felt like he’s had an opportunity or with the opportunities given to him he hasn’t helped us as much as he would like. We don’t we haven’t done a great job of helping him.”

The standing pat is not considered a viable option by Lakers players, sources told ESPN.

Sources add that James has been involved in roster building during the offseason on everything from the Westbrook trade to free agent signings. Rob Pelinka will once again collaborate with James leading up to Deadline.

“There’s still a lot of basketball to play,” James said shortly before ending his joint press conference with Davis and leaving the arena with the guy he teamed up with to win a championship ago. about 16 months. “We still have an opportunity to score this season, but it will take it, it will take a lot. It will take a lot. But nothing is worth having if it is not worth working for.”

Davis added: “I don’t think we’ve given up on that. I know we haven’t. I don’t think – I know we haven’t. Like Bron said, he We have a lot of basketball left. We can turn it around, but it’s going to take a lot of work. To get there, we’re going to have to be a team, collectively to do it. We have to buy in. We just have to do it, everyone. People go out there and Play for each other. Play hard. Play selflessly. And try to turn things around before it gets really bad.