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Report: Lakers likely seeking draft picks along with Evan Fournier from Knicks

As more is reported on the Lakers and Knicks trade talks regarding Evan Fournier, it’s becoming more evident the Knicks are not operating from a position of power.

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Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The trade talks between the Lakers and Knicks surrounding Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish have some logic in them, as we recently discussed when the rumors first surfaced. The Lakers need wings and those two represent some of the few options available on the trade market.

But they aren’t all that attractive due to both their lack of production with each player out of the rotation in New York and their respective contract statuses. Because of that, they aren’t desirable contracts and most teams, the Lakers included, are looking for draft compensation to be attached to the players in a trade.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype provided some details on the trade talks between the two sides in regards to Reddish and Fournier.

It’s worth noting the Lakers have checked in several times on the availability of Reddish over the past year, league sources told HoopsHype. However, it’s unlikely the inclusion of Reddish alone would move the needle for the Lakers to take on Fournier’s contract, which includes $18.8 million on the books for next season.

As previously reported on HoopsHype, the Knicks are reluctant to attach a first-round pick with Fournier in trade talks.

Fournier’s deal would almost completely eliminate cap space the Lakers have heading into next summer, which isn’t a deal breaker in and of itself. But when the player they’re acquiring is a negative asset as Fournier currently is, that makes the deal much less appealing.

In the same piece, Yossi Golzan discussed as well that Reddish is not seen as an incentive in a trade packaged with Fournier but more of a lottery ticket as someone also not getting regular playing time.

Fournier’s $18.9 million owed to him for the 2023-24 season makes him harder to move. He wasn’t helping them on the defensive end and has seen a sharp decline in his shooting. They reportedly do not want to trade any of their surplus of future first-round picks to get off him, but are willing to attach Cam Reddish. Several teams are interested in Reddish but teams may see him more as a flier than an incentive since he too is out of the Knicks’ rotation.

In a different scenario, this type of deal could make sense for the Lakers. Taking on players that are negative assets or fliers for added draft capital is a deal you do when you’re a rebuilding team.

There’s a small argument to be made that the Lakers could use the draft capital to get off of Westbrook’s contract, but it feels like too steep a price to pay that would ultimately not change their situation all that drastically in the long run. The team would still be strapped with a player on a long-term contract that isn’t living up to that value.

As a result, it feels unlikely the two sides are going to agree to a deal until one of their stances changes, more likely the Knicks when it comes to attaching first round picks to a deal.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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