Draft day is soon approaching and the possibilities are endless for every NBA team. Trading up, trading down or just simply staying put is what many NBA GM’s will be deciding from now until June 22nd. For the Los Angeles Lakers, that pressure is intensified due to the fact they are in the worst stretch of losing seasons in franchise history and because of their market size.
With recent developments coming out about players that they may or may not draft, the trade scenarios become limitless.
With Markelle Fultz basically being a lock at the #1 pick, the Los Angeles Lakers do not have the option to trade up. They can either take the player they think is the best at #2, trade down or trade for a superstar. Let us take a look at some of these options.
Lakers Receive: #5 Pick and #10 Pick
Kings Receive: #2 Pick
The Lakers would receive two top-ten picks from this trade and be able to get two players that would help the franchise in its rebuild. Los Angeles would still get a top five talent with whoever ends up falling to them at #5 (Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum), and they would also be able to get a potential player like Dennis Smith Jr. or Lauri Markkanen with the tenth pick. This trade would allow Los Angeles to fill their needs with young draft prospects while keeping their salary cap space open to sign valuable free agents.
Sacramento would receive the number two pick, and they would receive the point guard of their choosing instead of hoping De’Aaron Fox falls to them with the fifth pick.
From the many reports that have been thrown out there, it seems Sacramento is head over heels for Fox. If they decide to not select him, Lonzo Ball is available to them as well and he would be given the keys to that offense since they have no point guard under contract.
Lakers Receive: Paul George
Pacers Receive: #2 Pick, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle
Lakers nation would finally get the superstar that they have been looking for since Kobe Bryant retired, and it would be for a player who wants to wear the purple and gold. While Paul George becomes a free agent in the summer of 2018 and has expressed interest in joining the Lakers next year, the Lakers want to get better right away and trading for him this year will accomplish that. This trade also removes Jordan Clarkson’s salary from the cap and moves Julius Randle during his contract year.
Pacers would get the chance to start their rebuild with the #2 pick. The Indiana Pacers already have a young talented center in Myles Turner, and they would be adding more talented youth with Julius Randle. Jordan Clarkson gives them scoring from the guard position, and the Indiana Pacers would likely select Lonzo Ball at the number two selection. This would be beneficial for the Pacers since they are stuck in the middle in the eastern conference.
Lakers Receive: #9 Pick and future Second Round Pick
Mavericks Receive: #2 Pick and Luol Deng
This trade is a win-win for both teams. The Lakers are able to salary dump Luol Deng’s contract on to the Dallas Mavericks while also getting a top ten pick in return. As stated earlier, Dennis Smith Jr. would likely be available around the selection of number 9.
Selecting Smith Jr. would still give the Lakers the option of sliding D’Angelo Russell to the shooting guard position as they would have if the selected Lonzo Ball with the second pick. This would also open up salary on the Lakers and give them flexibility to try to add more talent to entice free agents to join in the next few years.
The Dallas Mavericks would jump up seven spots to draft at the number two spot. It is very clear that the Dallas Mavericks will not be playing competitive basketball during Dirk Nowitzki’s final year as a NBA player, so adding Luol Deng wouldn’t harm their immediate future. The Mavericks would get their franchise changing player with whoever they decide to draft at two, and would be able to start the rebuilding process early.
These are just a few trade possibilities that might happen during the NBA draft. One thing is for certain with this upcoming draft; all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Lakers when it is their turn on the clock.