The Los Angeles Lakers don't sound like a team eager to part with the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Most prognostications have the team selecting either LSU forward Ben Simmons or Duke forward Brandon Ingram with the selection, but early on there were trade rumors involving the pick as well.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team's "intention" is still to use the pick to select a player. However, any competent front office has to survey the league's landscape to see where their assets are valued. A team could come in and blow the Lakers away with an impossible-to-refuse offer between now and the NBA draft on June 23rd, so it's not entirely safe to assume the team will keep the selection, even if it is the most likely outcome.
But like nearly any player or asset in the NBA, the pick could be had for the right price, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
The consensus around the league is that the teams with slots 1-2 will hold onto their picks. If a blockbuster develops for L.A., that could change, but nothing is imminent on that front.
Like most analysts, it sounds like the rest of the NBA is assuming the Lakers will take the simpler path of taking a younger player and letting them grow alongside their already young core rather than throwing multiple assets into a trade for a more established star. It's a slower road back to contention, but it's also a safer and more sustainable one.
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