Heading into this offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have two priorities: first, draft the right guy second overall and, second, see if there’s any chance at all someone might be desperate enough to take Luol Deng or Timofey Mozgov’s contracts.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski (at a pretty ungodly hour, if I may say so, myself), the Lakers are remaining patient in regards to that second priority, despite all the rumors swirling around them of Paul George’s interest in coming a year from now as a free agent.
The Lakers do currently have desirable enough assets (Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and the number two pick come to mind) to entice just about any GM into taking on either or maybe even both of Deng or Mozgov’s deals, but those pieces are simply too valuable to offer in a salary dump.
Pieces like Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance Jr. or that 28th pick could be attached to Deng or Mozgov and probably get a deal done, but why move salary (and the necessary assets to do so) before you absolutely have to?
If the right deal comes along, great. But this free agent class is nowhere near good enough to necessitate a knee-jerk move involving the few assets the Lakers currently have to work with. Such a deal can always be made next year, when names like George, LeBron James and whoever else become available.
It will definitely be interesting to see what kinds of deals might currently be making their way to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s desk, but that information probably won’t be made known at least until the morning, or at least we can only hope so.