The Los Angeles Lakers are investigating their options for trading the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The front office reportedly wants to free up more cap space, and the 27th overall pick would be owed a guaranteed $963,000 salary in their first season. If this report is true, it could mean the Lakers are looking to spend big in free agency this offseason with names like Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge on the market in unrestricted free agency and Jimmy Butler and Khris Middleton headlining the restricted free agency market.
What the Lakers could be looking for in return for the Houston Rockets first rounder they received to take Jeremy Lin's contract is unclear from the report. Could the team trade the selection for a future first rounder, or would they be trading back for multiple second rounders? The team has already worked out 78 players in preparation for the draft, the majority of whom were in the 27-34th overall range where the Lakers have their two selections.
However, if the Lakers are keeping an open mind about Love or truly serious about going after Butler (who it should be noted will likely have any offer matched by the Chicago Bulls) and also want to add more NBA ready free agents, the front office needs to keep its cap sheet as clean as possible. Trading the 27th overall pick is just one more variable the franchise has to consider before June 25th.