3. Trading a future first-round pick (unless it is to get off of Russell Westbrook)
Most of the Los Angeles Lakers’ future first-round picks are tied up to the New Orleans Pelicans from the Anthony Davis trade. That being said, the team does have its own pick to trade in the 2027 NBA Draft and while that is five years in the future, that pick is still getting some looks.
That pick is reportedly getting a lot of interest throughout the league and quite frankly, we cannot blame teams for being so interested. With the way the Lakers have been run the last 12 months, there is a decent chance that they will go back to the dark ages and be one of the worst teams in the league five years from now.
The Lakers have to avoid just throwing the pick into a trade in the same way that they threw the 22nd pick into the Russell Westbrook trade this offseason. With virtually no future assets (both in players and in picks), the team has to hold onto that pick unless they get something that is truly worth value.
The only move the Lakers should be willing to throw a first-round pick into is if they can get off of Russell Westbrook’s contract in a salary dump trade. Why this kind of trade? Well, if the Lakers can dump Westbrook, get some serviceable role players this season and the financial flexibility for next year then suddenly a championship could be possible in the next two years.
With Westbrook, a title is simply out of reach. Sorry to any optimistic Westbrook fans that think this team will figure it out.
And even if things might be dark in five years, if you can trade a first-round pick to win a championship then you should do it every single time. Getting off or Westbrook’s contract would be that impactful for the Lakers.