Lakers: 3 Potential Trades LA Could Pursue Using Their Draft Pick

Rumor has it that the Lakers will try to trade their draft pick, should they retain it, for an established star. Here are some possible targets

Monday, radio personality, Colin Cowherd, took to the airwaves reporting that the Lakers would be willing to trade their draft pick for an established star, were they to keep the pick. Being that Cowherd is well, Cowherd, basketball fans took the news with a grain of salt.

This was until Bill Simmons, formerly of Grantland and ESPN, now with The Ringer, took to Twitter to reveal that he’d also been hearing rumors about the Lakers’ plan for the pick. Now, with a more credible source providing the information, the rumor can be taken a bit more seriously.

Personally, the rumors reveal that the Lakers may be falling back into the same bad habits that got them here in the first place, something which was assumed to be left in the past when they opted to hire Luke Walton in lieu of other, more experienced, options.

As it stands, the Lakers’ front office seems to be jumping the gun seeing how they only have a 55.8 percent of actually keeping their pick, but you can’t fault them for preparing for every possible situation.

With that in mind, here are a few prospects that the Lakers are likely to pursue if the rumors are indeed true.

Paul George

This one was brought up by Simmons himself, but with the way Paul George showed out in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs paired with Kobe Bryant’s recent departure from the Lakers, the desire to trade for PG-13 is a no brainer.

Add on his ties to Los Angeles and the fact that the Lakers have been embarrassingly thin at the small forward position for so many years, the trade would be a match made in heaven… for the Lakers.

Led by NBA legend, Larry Bird, the Indiana Pacers are well aware of George’s value, and would likely require much more than the Lakers would be willing to give up, if they even entertained an offer at all.

Fans may be licking their chops at the prospect of a young Lakers squad with Paul George at the helm, but they must realize that a trade would likely decimate LA’s young core in addition to robbing them of their draft pick.

DeMarcus Cousins

Just last week, it was rumored that the Sacramento Kings would finally be willing to part with center, DeMarcus Cousins, because his “mood swings” were off putting to teammates. That said, considering the Kings current displeasure with Cousins, LA would have a much easier time prying away Boogie than trying to swing a Paul George deal.

Looking down the Kings’ roster, rookie standout, Willie Cauley-Stein would be able to slide in seamlessly for Cousins at the center position leaving a gap at power forward. Assuming the Lakers land a top three pick, were a trade to actually occur, depending on who the Kings decide to draft would likely determine whether they’d want Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle back in return.

The Kings would likely starting the bidding high, attempting to get a haul of the pick and two pieces of the young core, but it’s doubtful that the Lakers would entertain that offer, even if it’s for one of the most dominant big men in the league.

Jimmy Butler

The prospect of a Jimmy Butler-Lakers trade has flown relatively under the radar, but personally, it feels like this is the trade most probable for the teams to actually come to an agreement on.

Currently, Butler is one of the best two-way players in the association, arguably third to only Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James so the Lakers’ interest is well-warranted. Seeing how Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg experiment failed with their current lineup, the Bulls might be willing to shake up the rotation if they’re able to add young talent.

Early in the season there were rumors that Derrick Rose and Butler weren’t on good terms, and while it was assumed that the Bulls would usher in a new era with Butler at the helm, moving on from Rose, the latest rumblings suggest that Chicago could actually look to move Butler this offseason.

Similar to a Cousins trade, the Bulls’ willingness to move Butler could greatly benefit the Lakers. Butler is currently only owed $76 million over the next four years, an average of about $19 million a year, which is a steal considering the upcoming salary cap boom.

One Fansider suggested a D’Angelo Russell plus top-3 pick for Butler swap, but considering the latter’s lingering knee issues, and the Lakers’ infatuation with Russell, LA would be wise to try and get better bang for their buck.

Currently the rumors are just that, rumors, but we will be sure to keep you updated on all of the latest news surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers and their exciting upcoming offseason.