Go ahead and brace yourself for this. It’s a doozie. Per yet another report, the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office is not at all interested in trading any of their three recent lottery picks (D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle).
This story comes on the heels of at least two others mentioning how reluctant Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the front office are to move what appears to be a potentially formidable “big three” of sorts. They’ve come this far, assembled a fun, young group and also understand how valuable cheap, young talent they can manage for the foreseeable future is.
It’s the smart move, and it’s great to see they’re sticking to their plan even with that ambiguous deadline hanging over their heads.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News released his report Wednesday afternoon, echoing the sentiment that’s consistently been repeated as the Lakers’ stance. “According to league sources, the Lakers have not included any of the three into trade discussions, and do not figure to change that,” he wrote.
Deveney then specifically mentions potential targets (the Hawks’ Paul Millsap and Sixers’ Nerlens Noel) who’ve come up before, and it remains pretty clear those talks ended quickly.
He did, however, mention how the Lakers might be sellers at the deadline, which is nothing new, but named Luol Deng. This is different given it wasn’t Lou Williams or Nick Young named, as has been the case in previous reports. That’s certainly something to keep an eye on, as it would free up quite a bit of cap space this summer.
Kupchak always plays things close to the vest, so unless some tectonic shift in policy occurs, expect to hear more of these kinds of reports leading right up until the trade deadline.