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Report: Lakers were willing to include 2027, 2029 first-round picks for Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving

The Lakers’ reservations toward including both their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in trades this summer were not all-inclusive, as the team was open to doing so for Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell.

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Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

With only two primary trade assets in their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks at their disposal, the Lakers have been acutely aware of how little wiggle room they have when making a deal. As general manager Rob Pelinka explained at media day on Monday, the Lakers only have one shot at making the trade that will ideally vault the team back into contention.

It’s why the team spent most of the summer playing hardball when it came to trade negotiations, trying to squeeze every possible ounce out of a trade. The end result was no deal made and the team heading into media day with a team that feels incomplete.

While there has been some frustration as to how unwilling the team has seemingly been at times to deal those picks, Dave McMenamin of ESPN revealed on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast that the team was willing to include those draft picks in specific deals this summer:

“I’ve been told that, listen, had the Lakers been able to acquire Kyrie Irving or the Lakers been able to acquire Donovan Mitchell, both those players, the Lakers were willing and able to move both those picks to acquire.”

The first reaction to this should be “Well, duh” as the team should be willing to part with two picks for two superstar guards. There was never a realistic chance they were getting Mitchell, who went to Cleveland for a package akin to the one the Lakers gave up for Anthony Davis.

Irving, on the other hand, felt far more attainable in the moment. The reporting at the time suggested the team was open to including the picks but the hold-up was centered around the players involved, namely Joe Harris and Seth Curry.

Ultimately, considering how stubborn the Nets were about trading Kevin Durant as well, it’s fair to wonder if they were ever really that serious about trading Irving. Irving was obviously the type of guy who would completely change the outlook of the Lakers' season, so it makes sense the team was willing to move everything for him.

Hopefully, though, this doesn’t mean the Lakers would only move those picks for players of this quality. There were very unique circumstances that made Irving available and there was no chance Mitchell was coming to Los Angeles.

The Lakers have done a decent job of holding their cards for the right moment and not appearing over-eager to part with the picks. Now, though, the team is going to need to find the right deal and make a move or risk having another lost season with LeBron James.

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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