Report: Lakers to be ‘aggressive’ and ‘active’ in trying to trade 2024 1st-round draft pick

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported that the Los Angeles Lakers will be “aggressive” as well as “active” in trade talks regarding their first-round pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft.

“Yes — the answer is yes,” Buha said in response to a question asking if the Lakers will look to trade their first-round pick. “The Lakers are going to look to move that No. 17 pick on draft night. It will be the first time that they could use all three of their tradable first-round picks.

“And it’s a prime opportunity for them to potentially get either a third star or to improve the roster by attaching one or two or three of those picks alongside players under contract to upgrade the starting lineup or the bench. But it’s the first time they’ll have more than one pick at their disposal. And my understanding is that they are going to be aggressive. And they’re going to be active. And they’re going to try and use that.”

Back in April, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said that there were “legitimate rumblings” regarding the possibility that Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young will be traded. It’s worth noting that Young has been connected to the Lakers in trade rumors for quite some time now, considering a report from Buha in August of last year indicated that Los Angeles has had the floor general on its radar.

“So, to me, the Hawks thing is interesting because it’s only recently there have been legitimate — whatever, let me think how I wanna phrase this — rumblings about the possibility of Trae Young actually being traded,” MacMahon said. “Only recently has that been something that you would even think would be a consideration for the Hawks.”

It’s easy to see why the Lakers are allegedly open to trading the No. 17 overall pick considering the age of arguably the team’s best player in LeBron James. James is the oldest player in the NBA right now at 39 years old, and it’s unclear how much longer he will play in the league, so the Lakers are in win-now mode and don’t exactly have all the time in the world to wait for a youngster to develop with this current core.

On top of James’ advanced age, another one of the team’s stars in Anthony Davis is getting up there in age as well. The big man turned 31 in March and already has a lot of miles on his body, considering he has played 12 seasons in the NBA, including five as a member of the storied Lakers franchise.

In light of the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets in five games in the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, it is abundantly clear that there is room for improvement in terms of how the roster is constructed outside of James and Davis.

Los Angeles’ stars both averaged 27.8 points per game against Denver, but the team received inconsistent offensive production from its complementary players. D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura underperformed from a scoring perspective, as both players shot below 40 percent from the floor in the Lakers’ first-round series.

Hopefully the Lakers’ front office can parlay the team’s first-round pick into a player who can help Los Angeles win games right away.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.