Report: Jeanie Buss doesn’t support trading away future assets to help current team

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers owner and president Jeanie Buss reportedly doesn’t support trading away future draft capital to help the Lakers contend this season.

“However, according to a Western Conference executive who spoke with Heavy On Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the Lakers are unlikely to trade away their future in order to improve the current iteration of their roster – a move which Jeanie Buss supports,”’s Adam Taylor wrote.

The Lakers have first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts that they could use to make a deal, but it appears the team is unlikely to go that route, with Buss’ support.

Even though Lakers star LeBron James is putting together another All-NBA caliber season at age 38, the Lakers don’t want to sacrifice the future of the franchise to try to contend this season.

Los Angeles is still in the thick of the playoff race in the West, as the team holds the No. 13 spot in the conference but is just 2.5 games back of the No. 6 seed.

However, Anthony Davis going down with a stress reaction in his foot has limited the Lakers’ ceiling until he returns.

There are a few avenues that Los Angeles could explore for a deal, but it’s hard to see either really improving the team without the Lakers trading any future picks.

One way is by trading guard Russell Westbrook, who is in the final season of his contract. Los Angeles could take on some longer contracts in return for Westbrook, but it’s hard to see any team jumping at the opportunity to take on Westbrook’s deal (worth north of $47 million) without more incentive.

If the Lakers are truly looking to improve the roster, they’d have to trade Westbrook for an upgrade, which is going to be hard to do without giving up picks. The former MVP has also played well this season off the bench, averaging 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

The Lakers could also attempt to package the expiring contracts of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn to add another rotation piece, but it’s unlikely they’d be able to net a player who truly makes the team a contender.

If Buss is supporting the decision not to trade future picks, it’s hard to see the Lakers pivoting with less than a month to go before the league’s Feb. 9 trade deadline.

While Los Angeles is in the hunt in the West, it is still on the outside looking in and Davis has yet to return to the lineup since going down in December.

Lakers fans may just need to accept that this season’s team will rely on how far James (and hopefully Davis) can carry it down the stretch of the 2022-23 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.