NBA Executive Believes Lakers’ 2027 & 2029 First-Round Picks Are ‘Most Powerful’ In League
Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers still have the means to make another move or two before the start of the season and the main trade pieces at their disposal are their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks. Rob Pelinka dealing away one or both of those picks should be able to bring back multiple pieces to improve the roster.

While there have been rumors involving multiple different teams, the latest have involved the Utah Jazz. After dealing away both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, they are clearly in rebuild mode and have multiple other veterans available such as Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley. The Jazz have already been involved with the Lakers this summer with the Patrick Beverley trade and have perhaps been discussing a bigger deal involving Russell Westbrook.

According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, those Lakers picks are perhaps the most powerful trade pieces in terms of draft capital, and Pelinka is using that to his advantage in dealing with Danny Ainge and the Jazz:

The two Lakers’ picks are the most powerful thing as far as picks go in the league right now. Everyone expects them to be top picks and if you can get them unprotected, everybody wants those. The Lakers only want to give up one and now you have to be thinking, if you’re the Lakers, OK, (Malik) Beasley and Bogdanovic and Jarred Vanderbilt for one of these picks and Russ? Or, you know, Clarkson or Conley in there? You’re going to want three of those five players, give up Westbrook and only deal off one of the picks. Danny might get more picks if he sells those off individually but he is not going to get better picks, and that is the thing the Lakers have as an advantage.

The Lakers have been pretty consistent in what it would take for them to deal away those picks. They will not give one up just to get off the Westbrook contract and want real rotation players in return. The franchise is looking to get back to contender level and won’t engage in any deal that doesn’t move them closer to that goal.

Using those picks as leverage is the smart thing to do, especially if rival teams all believe those picks will be high draft choices. The Lakers reiterating that these are the best possible picks Utah canreceive could result in bringing in a better haul of players and making the Lakers a serious team to watch this season.

Jeanie Buss vows Lakers will never tank as fans deserve a quality product

The idea of the Lakers dealing away their stars and starting over with a long-term rebuild is something that has been mentioned. The worst thing you can be in the NBA is in the middle and many teams will simply begin tanking in order to get as many great draft picks and young players as possible.

But this is something Jeanie Buss is not a fan of. The Lakers owner recently spoke in an interview, noting that tanking is something her father never did in 32 years and she feels the same. Buss added that the fans deserve a ‘quality product’ and while you can’t guarantee anything, she wants the Lakers in position to compete.

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