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Lakers Trade Rumors: Jeanie Buss stepped in to stop Jim from trading for Paul Millsap

Hypothetical time!

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The number one question most people have about the Jim-to-Jeanie-Buss regime change is what it might do to the direction the on-court product might go in over the next couple years.

Does Jeanie’s arrival signal a shift from the long-term rebuild to short-term success?

Based on some of the reports stemming from the regime change, itself, it’s honestly impossible to say.

On one hand, you see quotes like this in the Los Angeles Times in which Jeanie says she’d be heartbroken if the Lakers don’t have an All-Star next season.

Then, on another, you see this report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne about Jeanie stepping in to ensure the young core remains intact even with the potential to acquire legit NBA talent on the table. Here’s how Shelburne puts it:

At the same time, Jim was making moves that Jesse interpreted as mortgaging the Lakers' future to save his job. In early January, he heard the Lakers had been discussing trades for veteran players -- like Atlanta's Paul Millsap -- that involved giving up several of the team's young players.

"I emailed Joey and Jeanie: 'This is the time where you need to step in!'" Jesse says. "The next day, she sent an email to everyone saying, 'If any trades being discussed include our young players, please notify me so I can sign off.'"

Still, questions that feel as daunting as they are impossible to answer remain.

Will Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have liked what they saw over the second half of the season enough to believe in the direction Mitch Kupchak and his aforementioned boss were taking the team?

If Paul George doesn’t make an All-NBA team this year, there’s a very good chance he could be on the table as Indiana might want to get something for him before he could potentially bolt in free agency. Yes, he could theoretically make it next year, making him eligible for quite the pay-raise, but sitting around, waiting for that to happen doesn’t feel very pragmatic.

If you believe that first quote above, it’s pretty easy to see the Lakers flipping a couple pieces for George this summer. If you believe that second report, then maybe there’s a chance they wait to sign George two summers from now.

If you’re like me, and can’t deal with the umpteen last straws as we’ve seen reported over the course of the last month, then your hands are up in the air not having any idea what might happen.

The Lakers will finish their season on a pair of back-to-backs Tuesday and Wednesday night. Then, the fun begins.

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