Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20 at the Barclays Center, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will explore all options after they somehow moved up seven spots and landed the No. 4 pick.
While the Lakers could add another prospect to their young core, they could also use their top-four pick in a potential trade for a second All-Star player.
Since there are conflicting reports about free agency and Anthony Davis, one potential target reportedly is Bradley Beal. Although Beal did not make a 2018-19 All-NBA Team and is not eligible for a supermax contract extension, the Wizards do need to make a decision as John Wall begins his four-year, $193 million contract extension recovering from an Achilles injury.
If the Wizards want to embrace a rebuilding process by trading Beal, the Lakers could be a potential partner as they would want Lonzo Ball as part of the package, according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington:
If there’s a deal with the Lakers, most sources would want Ball involved regardless of any parent distractions from his attention-seeking father, Lavar. “People just don’t grasp how good he is,” a source said.
If Ball is not included, two other members of the team’s young core and the No. 4 pick would be viewed as ‘fair value’ for Beal heading into June 20:
Los Angeles owns the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft. One source views Ingram, Kuzma and four for Beal as fair value assuming Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, is cleared medically following a blood clot scare that ended his season prematurely.
If the Lakers strike out in free agency and the New Orleans Pelicans are unwilling to trade Davis to Los Angeles, Beal has been linked to them.
As the Wizards are still in search of a new general manager, Beal had a career season and made his second consecutive All-Star appearance. He averaged 25.6 points (47.5% shooting from the field and 35.1% from the three-point line), 5.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists while playing all 82 games.
While there will be debates about who the Lakers should even offer for Beal in this scenario, it is ultimately good to have options. As Pelinka and company will attempt to rebound from a drama-filled start to the offseason, there should be a sense of urgency with LeBron James set to turn 35-years-old.
With James still one of the best players in the league today, the Lakers do need to end their six-year playoff drought and give themselves a chance to compete for a championship heading into the 2019-20 NBA season.