The main topic of discussion when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers at this point in the season, outside of Kobe Bryant’s immediate future, is whether the team will be able to hold onto their potential lottery pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
As of right now, the Lakers have the fourth worst record in the NBA. Los Angeles sits ahead of the New York Knicks (8-37), Philadelphia 76ers (8-37) and Minnesota Timberwolves (7-37).
If the regular season were to end today, the Lakers would be a great position to retain their pick rather than handing it over to the division rival Phoenix Suns. The Steve Nash trade continues to haunt the Lakers with this year’s pick hanging in the balance.
Although most believe the Lakers should hang onto the pick and begin the rebuilding process, the franchise might go in another direction, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding:
Packaging that 2015 top-five pick, if the Lakers keep it, in a trade for a high-level player Buss and Kupchak deeply believe in would be an ideal way to hasten the rebuilding process.
If the Lakers do elect to trade the pick — if able to hold onto it with one of the worst records in the NBA — the team hopes to land a big-name player. The fans are already getting anxious and frustration with the moves the team has made in the last couple of years.
The season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and rookie Julius Randle have only made matters that much worse increasing the pressure on the Lakers brass to right the ship sooner rather than later.
Obviously, the Lakers can’t package the pick until their draft position is determined. With that being said, no deals including the pick will take place until this summer.
Along with potentially having a top-five draft pick as trade bait, the Lakers will have the cap space to pursue big-name free agents this summer. The two players that have been linked the Lakers more than any have been Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo. Although it is highly likely Rondo and Love stay with their current teams long-term, they could elect to test the free agent market and entertain the prospect of signing with the Lakers.[divide]
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