After multiple reports have suggested the Lakers are considering trading down in Thursday’s NBA Draft, there have finally been names linked to the Lakers as to who they may be targeting. Given their position as a contending team, the Lakers almost certainly weren’t going to be looking for more picks in trading down.
But until Wednesday, no names had been mentioned in who they may be targeting in trading down. Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on the options the Lakers have with the No. 17 pick and after previously reporting the chances of the team trading down are increasing, he mentioned a number of names, familiar and not, they could target.
The framework of a deal would likely involve Beasley, Bamba and the No. 17 pick getting exchanged for a starter-level player. The Lakers could also execute a smaller deal with only one of Beasley or Bamba, plus, potentially, the pick. Names around the league that have been linked to the Lakers in recent weeks include Indiana’s Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. and Washington’s Kristaps Porziņģis, according to multiple league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Really, it wouldn’t be a Lakers offseason if they weren’t linked to both Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, so we can check that off. We’ve come quite a long way from the days of trade discussions of Russell Westbrook and multiple picks for the pair to the present day package of one first round pick and two players who were non-factors in the playoffs.
Outside of those two, Gary Trent Jr. is a player the team has previously reportedly attempted to acquire. He’s also a Klutch client, which matters to some degree.
New names linked to the Lakers, though, are Brooklyn’s wings Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith and Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis. When it comes to the latter, the Lakers had a lot of familiarity making deals with Washington, but that was a previous front office.
Porzingis brings size and shooting after a bounceback season last year. He’s on an expiring deal, which lessens the risk for the Lakers. He could play alongside Anthony Davis and allow him to still play near the basket offensively. However, it appears that deal might never get off the ground anyway.
Sources: Wizards, Celtics and Clippers are in strong talks on a trade that would send Kristaps Porzingis to Boston, Marcus Morris and draft compensation to Washington and Malcolm Brogdon to Los Angeles. Sides are still working through details and Porzingis’ $36M player option.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2023
The Nets pair are 3-and-D wings that would be more direct upgrades over someone like Malik Beasley. A deal of Beasley and the No. 17 pick for one of Brooklyn’s back-to-back picks, No. 21 and No. 22, would work financially but is that a deal Brooklyn is willing to make to move up only a handful of spots?
With names to now consider, the intrigue is only ramping up heading into the draft.
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