Lakers Unwilling to Move Future Firsts for Upgrades

Despite some rumors to the contrary, it appears the Lakers are not willing to trade any future draft picks this season, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated.Rob Pelinka

Multiple reports have suggested the Lakers would be willing to part with either their 2027 and ’29 first-rounder, along with some salary, to try to add at least one veteran and theoretically improve the team now.

Names that have been mentioned as outgoing possibilities include guards Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn.

Thanks to something known as The Stepien Rule, the Lakers’ next trade-eligible pick won’t be eligible for another four years. As one opposing GM told Hoops Wire, that’s not real enticing. “I may not even be here in 2027,” the GM joked.

The Stepien Rule prohibits teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive seasons.

The Pelicans also own the right to swap picks with the Lakers in 2023 as part of the trade for star forward/center Anthony Davis. In addition, if the Pelicans don’t like where the Lakers’ pick lands in 2023, they can defer it to 2024 or even 2025.

But given how the Lakers have struggled, there’s a chance they could end up with a lottery pick this summer, while the Pelicans going to the playoffs. In that scenario, the Pelicans would most definitely utilize their right to swap picks immediately.

“In recent weeks the Lakers have reportedly been advised to not trade any future picks,” RealGM relayed. “Whether that is about keeping their picks under team control, or if it’s a believe this season isn’t worth salvaging, isn’t clear.”

Several league sources have theorized that LA could land upgrades without picks, assuming GM Rob Pelinka is willing to part with some of the aforementioned players, or center Thomas Bryant or guard Austin Reaves, among others.

Right now, though, all appears quiet when it comes to the Lakers and being close to a deal.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply