The Los Angeles Lakers front office of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka may have come in preaching patience with the team’s rebuilding efforts, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping their options open for a big move.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, “the Lakers have been taking and making calls about trading the [No. 2] pick” in the 2017 NBA Draft, and that “they’ve had scenarios presented to them, and offered their own.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean the Lakers are trading the pick, but it does mean it’s possible. We also have no idea what types of deals the Lakers have discussed with other teams.
Are they talking about potentially trading back in order to acquire extra assets? Or could they be discussing more “win-now” type moves, such as a deal for Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (who it should be noted is reportedly not being shopped right now, although that could just be posturing).
The point is that we have no idea what types of discussions they’re having, or how active they’ve been in initiating these calls vs. just taking them, even if Ganguli reports they’ve done both.
Reading the tea leaves here, it does seem safe to assume (this is not a report, or part of Ganguli’s report) at this point that the Lakers are not head-over-heels about any of the prospects in the draft, because it would seem that if they felt like their next obvious, can’t-miss franchise players was there they wouldn’t be discussing deals as much.
Again, that doesn’t mean they hate the players in this draft or anything, it just (likely) means that they don’t think any of them is the next LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Karl-Anthony Towns or something.
The Lakers making a deal before the draft still seems like a long shot, because there don’t appear to be a whole lot of obvious trade partners that can put together a deal that makes both sides. That being said, we’ve seen plenty of major bombs drop on draft night before, and this situation could be primed for another example of that.
Buckle your seat belts people, the next week is going to be a crazy ride.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.