The Los Angeles Lakers may finally be able to turn things around this summer with ample cap space to make moves in free agency and the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Although the storied franchise has an opportunity to bring in the next great center with Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns potentially, Los Angeles can’t escape the speculation and questions about possibly trading the pick.
On Tuesday, following team workouts of draft prospects, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke to the media. Kupchak was asked what it would take to trade the pick and responded with the following, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Mitch on what would entice him to trade No. 2 pick: "It would have to be a heck of an opportunity for us to be doing something like that."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 26, 2015
With the Lakers expected to retain their lottery pick, the trade rumors started to circulate leading up to the draft lottery. DeMarcus Cousins was one big-name rumored to potentially be on the move this summer with the Lakers as a possible destination.
The Sacramento Kings continue to downplay the notion of trading away their star center as they intend to build around him moving forward. As for the Lakers, it seems more likely they’ll keep the pick than trade it away for a proven veteran.
Anything can happen between now and draft day on June 25 with the Lakers possibly receiving calls with trade interest in their second overall pick. The prospect of landing Okafor or Towns in the draft is very intriguing for teams looking to rebuild with a center that could end up being a perennial All-Star.
As Kupchak stated, the trade proposal would have to exceptional for them to even consider making a deal. In all likelihood, the Lakers keep the pick and bring in one of the two top players in the draft to continue their rebuilding process with promising young talent.[divide]