The Los Angeles Lakers are hard at work preparing for Thursday’s NBA Draft, in which they have the second and 28th overall picks. However, recent rumors suggest that the team is hoping to land another lottery pick in the hopes of adding shooting to their roster.
Teams typically don’t part with lottery picks for cheap and the Lakers have long maintained that they wouldn’t part with their best young assets, causing many to wonder exactly what they could offer in order to land another pick. Now, it appears we may have our answer, as ESPN Insider Chad Ford reports that the Lakers are dangling young guard D’Angelo Russell in exchange for a top-12 pick:
Sounds like Lakers are dangling D’Angelo Russell in effort to get another Top 12 pick. Luke Kennard & Zach Collins appear to be targets https://t.co/2NPeEKX4SM
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 20, 2017
Moving Russell, who was arguably the team’s best player last season after Lou Williams was traded, would be a major surprise. It was only two years ago that Russell himself was the second overall pick in the draft, and given his moderate level of success, one would assume that he has more value to the Lakers than a late lottery pick.
Additionally, with the Lakers rumored to be zeroing in on selecting Lonzo Ball with the second pick, trading Russell, who would figure to be an excellent backcourt mate, seems unwise.
However, the details of such a trade are not available, and it’s possible that there is more going on here than what is being reported. For example, hypothetically the Lakers could be hoping to unload the large contracts of Timofey Mozgov or Luol Deng in the deal in addition to obtaining a top-12 pick, which would open up future cap space for the team.
With the lottery only days away, expect the rumors to keep flying.