Report: Lakers interested in obtaining top-5 pick ahead of 2024 NBA Draft

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat reportedly are two teams that could make a trade to get a higher pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

“One league source told Hoops Wire last week that he envisions the Lakers and Heat making a strong play for a top-five pick,” Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico wrote.

Los Angeles currently holds the No. 17 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, but it’s possible that it looks to move up to draft a young impact player to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have a lot of things to address this offseason, as they still don’t have a head coach after letting Darvin Ham go following their first-round exit in the playoffs at the hand of the Denver Nuggets.

University of Connecticut men’s basketball head coach Dan Hurley turned down Los Angeles’ offer to take the head coaching job earlier this month.

Not only that, but the Lakers have to make sure that James remains with the franchise for the 2024-25 season. The four-time NBA champion has a player option for next season that he could decline to become an unrestricted free agent.

Still, the Lakers reportedly have been operating as if he’ll be back with the team next season.

Since Los Angeles expects James back, it makes sense to maximize the chances it has to win the title next season. James is aging, even though he still played at a high level in the 2023-24 campaign, and the Lakers may not have many more seasons of him still playing at an elite level.

James averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game while shooting 54.0 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season, insane numbers for a player that turned 39 years old during the campaign.

It’s possible that the Lakers view a prospect in the top five of the 2024 NBA Draft as a way to help them compete in next season and beyond. It’s unclear what it would take for the Lakers to move up from No. 17 to No. 5, but it’s hard to see them blowing a bunch of assets since there are holes to fix on the roster.

The Lakers could lose point guard D’Angelo Russell in the offseason, as he has a player option he could decline to become a free agent, and it’s clear from the playoff loss to Denver that the Lakers need a little more firepower to compete in the West.

Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office have a lot of decisions to make this offseason with some of the most important ones coming when the NBA draft begins on Wednesday, June 26.

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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.