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With the trade deadline on Thursday, the Lakers once again find themselves in NBA trade rumors looking for a way to take this team from the play-in back to contention in the Western Conference.
When looking at the players the Lakers are likely to trade away, D’Angelo Russell is one of the team’s top talents on a contract large enough to get a significant player in return.
With less than 48 hours left, the Lakers don’t have much time to make their best offers and try to improve the roster. We’re not sure if the Lakers will make a blockbuster trade, look to shed some salary, or stand pat, but one thing is certain: Rob Pelinka is staying busy.
In our DraftKings Reacts survey for this week, we ask a pair of questions related to the trade negotiations for the Lakers: should the Lakers trade D’Angelo Russell at the trade deadline and should the Lakers trade their first-round pick at the trade deadline?
When it comes to Russell, people have exaggerated his poor Western Conference Finals performance and used it as a rebuttal to any good play he has had before or after. The facts are Russell is playing his best ball ever as a Laker.
During this recent six-game road trip, Russell averaged 20 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 38.5% from three. He was crucial in the win against the Hornets, where he had a team-high 28 points. In the matchup against the Boston Celtics, he had 14 assists, helping the Lakers defeat their biggest rival with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis out.
Even with his recent form, the Lakers have shown interest in Dejounte Murray, so the question becomes, is a deal exchanging Russell for Murray a net positive for the Lakers? Is that deal worth the risk and what’s the upside?
If the Lakers want to make a deal for Murray, they’ll likely have to include their 2029 first-round pick, which has become less appealing for them to do.
First-round draft picks are worth their weight in gold. They can either give you a star player or a solid rotation piece if you draft well or can be used to pull off a major deal as teams generally find first-round picks alluring.
So, what you do with these picks matters. You either have to draft well or use it in a trade and that pushes your team forward. Is this the trade that does that? Is it better to go for broke and much for a title by using your draft pick, or is this not the time to give up the only first-round pick you can trade away?
Let us know by voting and sharing your thoughts down below!
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.