With the Los Angeles Lakers preparing for life without Kobe Bryant, they have drafted D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson in the past two NBA Drafts.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, all three prospects have shown their potential and are expected to be a promising young core. With the Lakers currently 3-15 this season and at the bottom of the Western Conference for the third consecutive season, there have been discussions on if changes need to be made.
While the Lakers are reportedly unlikely to make a coaching change with Byron Scott, “The Herd” host Colin Cowherd shares that the Lakers would be willing to trade their young core for stars in the off-season:
“The Lakers would trade three of them. They’d like to keep Julius Randle. They’d move the other three to rebuild it with multiple free agents and Randle’s the only one they really truly believe is ready very quickly to be on a really good NBA team.”
Prior to the 2015 NBA Draft, there were numerous reports about the Lakers offering the No. 2 pick for DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings. However, the Kings ultimately kept their All-Star center and the Lakers surprised many by selecting Russell over Jahlil Okafor and Kristaps Porzingis.
With executive vice president Jim Buss reiterating numerous times he will step down in a couple of seasons if the Lakers are not back in contention, trading part of their young core for a superstar may become an option to speed up the rebuilding process.
Although the season is still in progress, some are already looking toward the off-season. With a top-three protected pick and approximately $65 million in cap space, the Lakers are in prime position once again to turn their franchise around very quickly.