While the NBA and its players are having fun in New Orleans for All-Star weekend, some teams are still hard at work trying to make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has stated that the team will be active in the final days that deals can be made, and he has a few pieces that some teams could be interested in.
Perhaps the main piece on the trade block is Lou Williams, who the team has reportedly shopped recently to gauge his market value.
According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Washington Wizards are interested in swinging a deal for the Lakers’ sixth man (h/t Honi Ahmadian of Lakers Outsiders).
The Wizards are one of the hottest teams in the league, climbing the standings in the Eastern Conference all the way to third at 34-21. They certainly look like a serious threat to make a deep playoff run this spring, but many believe they need to add some depth if they want to dethrone LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Wojnarowski notes that Washington has shown an inclination to send out a first-round pick, either in the draft this June or in a future draft, if it means they can add another valuable piece to their rotation.
If the Lakers sent Williams to Washington in exchange for a first-round pick, it appears to be a deal that would make sense for both sides. The Wizards can go all-in on making a deep playoff run while the Lakers would net a draft pick that they certainly could use.
The Lakers will lose their own first-round selection if it falls outside of the top-three, which at the moment is about a 50-50 chance based on where Los Angeles sits in the standings.
Additionally, if the Lakers lose their pick this year, they will still owe the Orlando Magic a first-rounder as well because of the Dwight Howard trade back in 2012, and that pick would be conveyed in 2019.
However, if they retain the pick because it stays in the top-three, the Lakers will then owe the Philadelphia 76ers an unprotected first-round pick next year and instead convey two second-round picks to the Magic, starting this year.
Williams has been fantastic this season off the bench for the purple and gold, but if the Lakers can net a first-round pick for him, it’s probably something the team has to do, given their shoddy pick situation at the moment that could also be hindering them from making other deals. With an extra first-rounder in their pocket, the Lakers would have a little bit more flexibility on the trade market.
The Lakers have been quiet at the trade deadline the past few years, but just about all signs are pointing to them making a deal this time around. The days and even hours leading up to the deadline are always exciting, and we will know by Thursday if the Lakers get in on the action.
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