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What draft picks do the Lakers still have available?

Win-now moves have largely sapped the Lakers of draft capital right now, but when will the team have picks again in the future?

2021 NBA Draft Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

As the Lakers have trended downward following their title in 2020, the natural inclination is to look towards the future to determine how they once again reach the NBA’s mountaintop. The most obvious modes of improvement are through free agency, the draft, or trades (often sweetened with draft picks).

The Lakers aren’t bereft of draft capital, but they are feeling the final effects of trading for Anthony Davis as well as more recently trading away Russell Westbrook. Some shrewd deals have allowed the Lakers to keep at least one second round pick in every season while still using a number of others to make various moves.

Still, as is always the case with the Lakers and their superstar-chasing ways, their limited assets again have become the center of discussion.

So exactly what assets — particularly draft capital — will the team have available in the future to potentially facilitate trades? Let’s take a look at where their upcoming draft picks are already going and when the team can begin trading them.

An important rule to remember in all of this is the so-called “Stepien Rule,” named after infamous Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien, which prohibits a team from trading first round picks in consecutive years. The workaround for this has been to include a pick swap in trades instead of sending the pick itself, both of which the Lakers gave the Pelicans did for Davis. But with those outgoing swap rights gone, the Lakers will be unable to trade swaps in lieu of picks for the years they’ve already sent out.

With that in mind, here is an updated rundown of the draft assets they can (and can’t) deal.

2024 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick potentially owed to Pelicans
  • 2nd round pick owed to Memphis
  • LAC 2nd round pick owned

The Lakers will have an interesting situation arise in 2024, if the world still exists by then. The Pelicans have the right to take the Lakers’ 2024 pick, or they could simply kick it down the road a year and take the team’s 2025 pick. Because the Lakers won’t know where their pick goes until, presumably, after the draft lottery and the order is set, this pick won’t be tradeable until just before the draft at the earliest, if at all.

The Lakers traded their 2024 second round pick with Marc Gasol to the Grizzlies this summer and originally were set to get the lesser of Washington or Memphis’ second round choices in return, but that pick was sent to Minnesota as part of the D’Angelo Russell trade. The end result is the Lakers not having a second round pick.

However, they recouped that pick as part of what became a four-team trade with the Clippers, Magic and Nuggets that included Patrick Beverley and Thomas Bryant.

2025 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick potentially owed to Pelicans
  • 2nd round pick owned
  • LAC 2nd round round pick owned

Again, the Pelicans will own one of the Lakers’ 2024 or 2025 first round picks, but only one of them. But because of the nature of the trade, the Lakers won’t know which one they have until 2024, which is why neither pick is tradeable right now.

The team has not traded its second round pick. They own the Clippers’ second round pick as part of the Beverley-Bryant-Bamba trade.

2026 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick owned
  • 2nd round pick owed to Cleveland

The Lakers outright own their 2026 pick, but they can not trade it yet because they will not know if they own their 2025 pick until the Pelicans make their decision in 2024, due to the aforementioned Stepien Rule which prevents the trading of first round picks in back-to-back drafts.

It’s confusing, I know.

Eventually, this could be the next pick the Lakers could trade, but they won’t know if they can do so for at least a couple more years.

The team’s second round pick was traded to Cleveland along with JaVale McGee in November of 2020 in return for Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell. The good news is that they own Denver’s second round pick as part of the Bryant trade.

2027 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick owed to Utah
  • 2nd round pick owned

The Lakers traded their 2027 first round pick to the Jazz as part of the deal that sent out Westbrook and brought in Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley. The pick is top-4 protected and if it doesn’t convey, it becomes a 2027 second round pick, which effectively means the Lakers can’t trade their 2027 second round pick either.

2028 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick owned
  • 2nd round pick owed to Washington or Orlando

As part of the trade with the Magic that landed the Lakers the No. 35 pick and, eventually, Max Christie in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Lakers will owe Orlando the more favorable of either their own or Washington’s second round pick. As part of the Hachimura trade, the less favorable of those picks goes to Washington.

2029 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick owned
  • 2nd round pick owed to Washington

The Lakers own their first round pick in 2029, which became tradeable only at the start of the 2022 offseason. The second round pick belongs to Washington as part of the Hachimura trade.

2030 NBA Draft

  • 1st round pick owned
  • 2nd round pick owned

The Lakers navigated the 2023 offseason without making a trade, meaning they still own their draft picks in 2030.

What does this all mean?

For now, the Lakers will also likely have first-round picks in 2024 or 2025, 2026 and 2028 through 2030 — and second-round picks in many of those years — albeit not all are tradeable firsts due to restrictions stemming from other deals. So long story short, the team is not quite as bereft of draft capital as you may believe. They just can’t move very much of it right now.

Stay tuned to this page, as we will continue to update it with more draft pick information as the team’s situation develops. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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