Lakers linked to surprising trade target as 2024 NBA Draft approaches

With the 2024 NBA Draft nearing, the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a surprising potential trade target. It could cost the No. 17 pick.
Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz
Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are approaching the 2024 NBA Draft with a franchise-altering decision ahead of them. At No. 17 overall, the Lakers will have a pick that could land a building block or be packaged in a trade to acquire an established commodity.

As the Lakers weigh their options, a surprising name has surfaced as a potential trade target should general manager Rob Pelinka opt to pursue the trade route.

Los Angeles made the highly-anticipated hiring of JJ Redick at the 25th hour, thus enabling it to approach the NBA Draft with all hands on deck. With Pelinka and Redick presumably on the same page about the vision for building a better team, trade rumors swirling are inevitable.

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, one of the players the Lakers are expected to target on the first night of the 2024 NBA Draft is Utah Jazz scoring guard Collin Sexton.

"The Lakers likely will explore the trade market to see what type of veterans they can add to give LeBron James, Anthony Davis and new coach J.J. Redick the best chance of competing this season, with NBA names such as Dejounte Murray and Collin Sexton being batted around by rival teams as possible targets."

It's surprising to see Sexton's name arise in trade rumors, but this could be a product of Pelinka and Redick's shared vision.

Collin Sexton has landed on the Lakers radar

Sexton is entering the third season on a four-year, $70,950,000 deal. He's owed $18,350,000 for the 2024-25 season, with a fully guaranteed $19,175,000 due for the 2025-26 campaign—meaning the Lakers would be on the hook for $37,525,000.

It's a hefty price to pay, but Sexton has established himself as one of the most productive guards south of the All-Star line during his six-year career.

Sexton finished the 2024-25 season averaging 18.7 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.6 three-point field goals made in just 26.6 minutes per game. He was the epitome of instant offense, with his numbers translating to 25.3 points, 6.6 assists, and 2.2 three-point field goals made per 36 minutes.

Unlike most tasked with the role of providing express scoring, Sexton shot efficiently with a slash line of .487/.394/.859.

Injuries have been a concern throughout his career, with a meniscus tear costing Sexton 71 games in 2021-22 and a series of injuries resulting in him missing 34 outings in 2022-23. He appeared in 78 games in 2023-24, however, and hopes to put the injury concerns behind him now.

Still just 25 years of age, there's certainly reason to believe that the best and healthiest seasons of his career are still ahead of him.

As the Lakers stare down the possibility of losing D'Angelo Russell to free agency, targeting Sexton begins to make more sense. He's not a carbon copy of Russell, but their production is similar enough for Los Angeles to consider him as a replacement.

It's unclear what the Lakers would be willing to give up for Sexton, but there's clearly an interest in creating depth as far as scorers and playmakers are concerned.