In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Lakers have a chance to trade for any player they want. They should try to get a top 5 pick and draft Zion Williamson, who is arguably the best prospect in years.
The nba rumors: lakers is a topic that has been brought up recently. The Lakers have the chance to trade for an unrealistic 2021 NBA Draft pick, but they should actually try to make this deal.
The Los Angeles Lakers are open to trading their first-round (and only current) NBA Draft selection in 2021. The Lakers have actively marketed their greatest trade asset — the No. 22 selection — around the league, as they did with Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and are open to moving up, down, or out of the draft altogether.
In return for the No. 13 selection and T.J. Warren, the Lakers allegedly gave Kuzma and the No. 22 pick to the Indiana Pacers. The Los Angeles Lakers have been in talks with the Sacramento Kings regarding a Buddy Hield trade including the No. 22 selection. The same goes for any Russell Westbrook-led Washington Wizards blockbuster. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have spoken about exchanging first-round picks and moving Landry Shamet to Los Angeles.
The Lakers don’t have a simple way to enhance their draft position before Thursday’s celebrations, particularly if they don’t include their 2021 first-round pick and/or restricted free agent Talen Horton-Tucker, who is 20 years old (via a complex sign-and-trade).
The selection may, and perhaps should, be used by Los Angeles. The Lakers’ recent draft record has been much more hit than miss, regardless of where they’ve chosen. The Lakers have discovered All-Stars and excellent supporting players via the lottery system. Rob Pelinka’s management clearly knows how to identify and nurture talent. (This month, the Lakers welcomed at least 40 prospects for workouts at their El Segundo facility.)
With almost two-thirds of their roster scheduled to reach free agency in 2020-21, the Lakers are on the verge of breaking the salary limit. When cash is limited, bringing in an NBA-ready contributor on a rookie contract may be the best option. Furthermore, the Lakers are not exactly a youthful team.
Pelinka has reportedly been on the phone with the most, if not all, of the 31 rival front offices, probably making unattractive offers because, well, why not? He hasn’t gained any traction yet, and the obvious feeling of desperation that comes with each Kuzma offer just lowers his worth more.
For the Lakers, I prefer this obviously impossible draft trade: No. 22 and Kuzma to the Memphis Grizzlies in return for the No. 17 selection.
Is Kyle Kuzma now worth five draft picks to the Grizzlies? At this time, most likely not. At the absolute least, the Grizzlies might ask for the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick and a few subsequent second-round picks.
But there’s no reason for Pelinka not to ask just for fun. Kuzma is a versatile and valuable player, and his commendable dedication to hustle plays and the “little things” would be a perfect match for the Grizzlies’ culture. A developed championship-winner who is 25 years old and under a fair contract for three more seasons may be more helpful to a team with plenty of youth wanting to take the next step than a rookie for a club with plenty of youth trying to take the next step.
Memphis is expected to be around $22 million under the cap in 2021-22, with almost the whole team under contract. They may be able to absorb Kuzma’s salary as part of a deal that involves just draft choices.
The Lakers’ chances of getting former Oregon sharpshooter Chris Duarte would improve if they were to select five places sooner. As things stand, the deal would put the Lakers ahead of the New York Knicks (Nos. 19 and 21) – arguably the most significant danger to land Duarte behind the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards at Nos. 14 and 15, respectively. That’s assuming the Knicks don’t go much higher in the draft to get Duarte, which is a dangerous assumption.
If Duarte isn’t available, the Lakers may target Trey Murphy III, Keon Johnson, Ziaire Williams, or Jaden Springer, none of whom are expected to be available at No. 22.
Simply some fuel for thinking. Whatever happens, Thursday is not going to be a relaxing day.
With fuboTV (click for a free trial), you can watch the NBA Draft LIVE in 2021.
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