The Lakers have long been in the middle of trade rumors regarding the draft, holding a lottery draft pick for the first time in a long time. However, the Lakers have remained intent on winning now, and it sounds like they may be looking to move the pick for more established talent.
According to multiple sources, including ESPN’s Ryan Russillo and Basketball Insider’s Steve Kyler, the Lakers and 76ers have been discussing a trade that would send the #7 pick to Philly and rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams to Los Angeles.
Russillo’s certainly offers more details while Kyler’s tweet serves as some sort of confirmation of the rumor, but if this trade does happen, it’d be a very Mitch Kupchak-like deal. The Lakers would acquire “win-now” talent, but keep all their options open. While Thaddeus Young is due over nine million dollars this year, his contract could come off the books next year. Regardless, he would be far more valuable at $9 million than Steve Nash would for the same amount. At the ripe age of 25, Young put up 17.9 points and grabbed 6 rebounds a game last season.
The big name, though, is Carter-Williams. Named Rookie of the Year, MCW put up 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists a game. Even more, MCW is a huge upgrade defensively over any guard on the Lakers roster, with his 130 steals last season ranking him 8th in the league.
These rumors come on the heels of a rumored deal that would see Young and the 10th pick go to the Lakers for the 7th pick. Those who believe in pipe dreams may combine the two rumors, but it’s highly unlikely the Lakers could get such a return on the 7th pick. However, if the trade happens more the draft, the Lakers must receive a first-round pick in return. The easy work around would be finalizing the deal AFTER the draft, with the Lakers essentially drafting a player for the 76ers.