One week ago, the Lakers agreed to a trade that landed them Russell Westbrook, sending shockwaves through the fanbase and league. While everyone else discussed the fit of Westbrook with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, though, the trade itself continued expanding outside of just the Lakers and Wizards.
It started on draft night, when the Wizards sent the No. 22 pick they acquired from the Lakers to the Pacers, and continued as Washington landed Spencer Dinwiddie in free agency. Mix a sign-and-trade, a trade exception and a host of draft picks and draft rights together and the result is a massive five-team deal that, ultimately, will see the Lakers net a handful more second-round picks.
Per Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Lakers will receive Chicago’s 2023 second-round pick and Washington’s 2024 and 2028 second-round picks, along with Westbrook in the trade.
Sources: The Wizards are also sending Chicago’s 2023 second-round pick to the Lakers in the five-team mega deal in addition to the 2024 second-rounder & 2028 second-rounder they were already sending.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) August 5, 2021
That means Washington is trading five second-rounders along with a 2nd-rd swap.
Katz also shared the full trade, which began to take form on Wednesday when the Wizards also included San Antonio in the deal as they cleared roster space for the six players they will acquire.
Here is what the final version of the five-team trade looks like, according to sources:— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) August 5, 2021
Rights to three more
18 total trade pieces pic.twitter.com/6Uoy74XMcr
Adding three second-round picks helps the Lakers fill the cupboard of draft assets after the Anthony Davis trade left it rather barren. Los Angeles will owe the Pelicans two more draft picks in 2022 and 2024 or 2025 with a pick swap in 2023, but have begun piling up second-round picks with this deal.
While obviously not as valuable as first-round picks, the Lakers netting second-round picks is notable. For one, the scouting department’s work throughout much of the last half-decade has spoken for itself. The team’s last four second-round draft picks are Ivica Zubac, Isaac Bonga, Svi Mykhailiuk and Talen Horton-Tucker, with the first and last of those earning second contracts in the league, which is a success in and of itself for second-rounders.
But the more likely use of those picks would be as trade fodder, given the Lakers’ win-now mindset. One scenario that could potentially play out, for example, could involve a traded player exception (TPE).
They’re especially good assets if the Lakers get a TPE in a Schröder sign-and-trade, which seems less likely by the day, but still! https://t.co/EcNwIHOogz— Christian Rivas (@RadRivas) August 5, 2021
If the Lakers are able to create a TPE through a Schröder sign-and-trade — though his market is reportedly on the floor in free agency — then the team could use some of those second-round picks near the trade deadline to bring on a contract using that TPE without having to send a player out.
But there are multiple ways the team could use these second-round picks in the future, particularly when the number of assets on the roster is limited, which makes it even more of a win from the front office to come out of this trade with three of them. Solid job by Pelinka on getting something for cooperating in making this a larger deal, without having to give anything else up.