Report: Lakers including future 1st-round pick in a trade ‘ain’t happening’

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers only have a few assets they can work with should they decide to bolster the roster via trade. The most enticing pieces they can offer that aren’t LeBron James and Anthony Davis are likely their first-round picks from 2027 onwards.

But it seems like the front office is adamant against including any of its remaining first-rounders in any trade package.

“With the Lakers, it’s a matter of getting something for Russell Westbrook before he becomes a free agent next summer, and keeping the team relevant and, thereby, LeBron James happy,” wrote Ric Bucher of Fox Sports. “The problem: For all of Westbrook’s improved play coming off the bench, his salary is a whopping $47 million and a source familiar with the front office’s thinking said any deal that would have to involve one of the team’s future first-round picks ‘ain’t happening.'”

For most front offices, it is prudent to preserve some assets or draft capital in anticipation of a potential rebuild should their stars decide to leave town. The Lakers could experience such a scenario as early as the 2024 offseason, when James and Davis have a player option and early termination option, respectively. Of course, the organization can also lose Westbrook for nothing next year, as Bucher alluded to.

It is probably unwise to bet on the star duo of James and Davis spurning Los Angeles and joining different teams in a couple of seasons. But anything is possible especially if the Lakers continue to turn in disappointing seasons year after year. It should also be noted that James is about to reach 38 years old, which means that his championship window is fast closing.

One can understand Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka then if he opts to hold onto the said draft picks.

But maybe the team does not have to change the roster up this season, especially if it maintains the improvement it has been showing the past two weeks.

After starting the 2022-23 campaign 2-10, the Purple and Gold has managed to reel off seven wins in nine contests. The surge has raised its record to 9-12, allowing L.A. to gradually creep into playoff contention in the Western Conference.

Davis has been key to the Lakers’ recent success. His averages in the previous eight games shows why a lot of pundits viewed him as one of the best players just a few seasons ago.

It will be interesting to watch if Los Angeles can continue its hot streak. It will certainly need to do so if the team wants to enter the playoff picture. The win against the Milwaukee Bucks on the road last Friday is a good sign for the team that has five matches left in its six-game Eastern Conference road trip.

Share This Article
Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.