Lakers Rumors: Front Office Waiting For ‘Specific Player’ To Make Trade
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All eyes are on the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers after the team has gotten off to a 2-8 start. There are many improvements to the roster that need to be made, but with the team lacking many trade pieces, the options for Rob Pelinka and the front office are limited.

The main pieces the Lakers have are the $47 million expiring contract of Russell Westbrook along with their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks. Those picks especially are extremely valuable as the Lakers’ future is unclear, but the Lakers have been very hesitant to deal them away for just good pieces that won’t make them a contender. The team is apparently waiting for a bigger star to become available.

On The Crossover Podcast with Chris Mannix and Howard Beck, it was noted by Beck that the Lakers are waiting for a bigger piece to become available and believe they will be able to deal Westbrook and the picks for that star:

“I will add one thing without going into all the detail, but I was canvassing a bunch of front office folks last week when I was workshopping my idea of “Can the Nets tear down now? Should they just tear down now? What could they reasonably get for Kevin Durant? Could they get anything for Kyrie Irving? Could they get anything at all for Ben Simmons?”‘ said Beck. ‘And in those discussions, when I brought up the Lakers, the pushback I was getting was they’re waiting for a specific player. That they’re not doing the Pacer deal, that they won’t do the Kyrie deal now that we for sure thought they would do a couple months ago, is an indication that the Lakers are waiting for a bigger piece to come loose that they think they can trade Westbrook and the two future firsts for.”

It does seem like every season a big-name player suddenly becomes available because a team isn’t doing as well as they had hoped or gets frustrated and demands a trade and Pelinka and the Lakers front office are apparently waiting to jump on that possible deal as opposed to others.

The potential deal with the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield is one that many are looking for, but that won’t make the team a championship contender so the front office is hesitant in giving away both of those first-round picks.

The Lakers front office is being extremely careful as they understand those two draft picks are the team’s only true trade assets right now and they do not want to deal those away for just anyone. In this case, being cautious and picky about who they trade them for is likely the right move.

Lakers to resist trading first-round picks if team continues to struggle

And to that point, with the Lakers struggling mightily so far and clearly being far away from championship contention, it makes it more likely that the front office would choose to hold on to those draft picks.

Recent reports suggest the Lakers are more likely to resist trading those picks if the team continues to struggle the way it has this season. The thinking likely being that no deal would make them a contender so they are better off holding on and trying to build through free agency next summer when they will have actual salary cap space.

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