The 2027 and 2029 first-round NBA draft picks are among the few tradable assets the Los Angeles Lakers own ahead of the summer rebuild.
L.A. included a sizable package of future draft picks in the Anthony Davis trade back in 2019. Over the next two years, the Purple and Gold sent away their 2020 and 2021 first-rounders to acquire Dennis Schroder and Russell Westbrook, respectively.
That’s why, as things stand now, the Lakers are not able to trade any of their first-round picks for five years — and they seem desperate to keep that option open. L.A. reportedly passed up on the opportunity to rid themselves of the 2027 pick to trade Russell Westbrook before the February trade deadline.
And while the Purple and Gold can still end up giving up their next available first-rounders to part ways with the 2017 NBA MVP, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reports the organization prefers to stay in possession of their first-rounders:
Based on their deadline activity, and everything that I’ve heard dating back to last season, I think the Lakers are going to do everything they can to retain their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. But if trading one of the picks is the best path to dumping Westbrook and/or significantly improving the roster, I think they will strongly consider it.
The Lakers’ unwillingness to trade future draft picks could impact their trade activity in the summer.
L.A. only have Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn’s contracts among the easily movable assets they can use this offseason — as other players on the franchise’s payroll are penned to either minimum or maximum deals.
Wenyen Gabriel says Lakers leadership is ‘excited’ to have him with team
Among the personnel decisions awaiting the Lakers this summer, they can use the player option in Wenyen Gabriel’s deal to keep the forward with the team after his successful stint with L.A. in the second part of 2021-22.
And according to Gabriel, the Purple and Gold are interested in extending his contract for another year.
“They’re excited to have me here this summer so I can put in some work and they said a lot of good things about me, complimented my game and different things that I bring to the court,” Gabriel said of his meeting with vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis.
“Just improve on different things as I put on some more weight, spend some time in the weight room and continue to improve my shot. But it wasn’t too much different things that they wanted to see, just put in the time. We have a long offseason and getting myself to work I think is gonna show results, so we’re both really excited.”
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