Magic Johnson has made it clear over the last 24 hours that he considers the young core of the Los Angeles Lakers to be untouchable when it comes to deals heading toward Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. D’Angelo Russell, however, is trying not to think of himself that way even though he admitted to being comforted by the thought, according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
D'Angelo Russell comforted Magic considers young core "untouchable." But D'Angelo said he has forced himself not to think that way
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 22, 2017
Even Lakers head coach Luke Walton stopped short of calling anyone of the team’s current roster untouchable, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke was hesitant to say anyone on this team is untouchable, although high on this young core, you never know who could come on the market
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 22, 2017
With the trade rumors floating around on Wednesday about the Lakers’ interest in acquiring forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, it is hard to imagine that every member of the team’s young core is truly untouchable in trade talks. Landing George, who is arguably one of the NBA’s best players at his position, would take quite the haul with Lakers almost certainly having to trade parts of the team’s highly valued young core.
It won’t take long to find out what players on the team are untouchable with the NBA trade deadline being Thursday at 12 p.m. PST. Magic and company will likely be working the phones throughout the night and leading all the up to the deadline tomorrow.
Although Nick Young hasn’t been linked with any team in particular as of yet, the veteran guard could be the next player to get traded by the Lakers. Young, like the recently traded Lou Williams, is an ideal rental for a playoff bound team looking for a boost on the offensive end of the floor.
Young has a player option on his deal for next season at $5.6 million. He’ll likely opt out in hopes of cashing in on his success this year, but his immediate future remains up in the air, especially if Magic is looking to get another draft pick for a veteran of his caliber.