The Lakers decision to make a move for Rui Hachimura more or less settled a debate held amongst Lakers fans for much of the season. While Russell Westbrook was seen as the most likely trade candidate early in the season, his embracing of the role of sixth man swayed many into thinking the team should make a smaller deal.
And so, the Lakers moved Kendrick Nunn and a trio of second round picks for Hachimura, splitting the difference between standing pat and going all-in. It was a move that left the Lakers some wiggle room and more on the table for them to potentially make another move. Let’s take a look at what’s left for them to trade in the coming weeks.
What players and contracts do they have to trade?
The contracts that have value and the Lakers may be open to trade in the right deal are still Westbrook’s $47 million expiring contract, Pat Bev’s $13 million expiring contract and even potentially Lonnie Walker’s expiring $6.4 million contract. Walker has been a positive contributor for the Lakers but considering he’s likely on the same path as Malik Monk last year and is set for a payday the Lakers may not be willing or able to give him. In the right deal, it feels possible they could move on from Walker, perhaps in a package with Pat Bev, though it feels much more unlikely.
What draft picks do they have to trade?
The Lakers did send out a host of their second round picks in the deal, but still have some left if needed again. Unlike first round picks, the Lakers can trade second round picks with no restrictions.
Right now, they own their own 2023, 2025 and 2027 second round picks as well as the less favorable of Memphis and Washington’s second round picks in 2024. Any of those could be dealt in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
Obviously, basically everyone knows that the Lakers can only deal their 2027 and 2029 first round picks, though that doesn’t mean that’s the only picks they’ll have to draft prospects in the coming years.
So the Lakers have four second round picks, two first round picks and, realistically, three contracts they could still trade. What would that land them? Well, not the All-Star they so desperately want.
However, as we saw with Hachimura, it could still net them a young player under control for the future, and that may be the path they look to take. Wings and forwards are likely at the top of the Lakers wish list, but that applies to the NBA as a whole, so they’ll still be at a premium.
What’s clear, though, is that the team has options and deals they could still make in the coming weeks to try to continue rounding out and further balancing the roster.
When is the trade deadline?
The Lakers will have until 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 9 to complete any more deals. Trading for Hachimura as early as they did will allow the front office to further evaluate the roster and trade market before potentially pulling the trigger on a deal again.
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