Lakers Rumors: Draft-day trade could completely change offseason outlook

The Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 17 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, but general manager Rob Pelinka may have other plans in mind.
2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in possession of the No. 17 overall selection in the 2024 NBA Draft. It marks the second consecutive year in which the Lakers will be able to select a player with the 17th pick, with Jalen Hood-Schifino coming to Los Angeles in 2023.

As the Lakers weigh their options at No. 17, it appears as though one possibility is beginning to gain traction: A trade.

Los Angeles general manager Rob Pelinka has been anything but shy when discussing his desire to improve the roster through trades this offseason. It's an ambitious goal, but also a necessary approach considering the Lakers' financial restrictions under the salary cap.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, a potential trade Pelinka is considering would see the Lakers move up from No. 17 at the 2024 NBA Draft.

“I’ve heard from plenty of people that they are considering, at No. 17, there’s talk of the Lakers wanting to move up a little bit.”

The Lakers potentially trading into the lottery suggests they already have an ideal prospect, or at least a specific group of players, in mind.

Lakers reportedly want to trade up at the 2024 NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft class is widely regarded as one of the weakest in recent memory. That's primarily due to the lack of a clear-cut No. 1 prospect, and not necessarily an indictment of the depth of quality players who could be drafted.

A strong comparison would be the 2013 NBA Draft, when Victor Oladipo was the only lottery pick who ultimately became an All-Star.

The list of players drafted in 2013, however, includes Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Tim Hardaway Jr., CJ McCollum, Kelly Olynyk, and Dennis Schröder.

It's obviously impossible to make a one-to-one comparison between draft classes, but 2013 is a reminder that even a, "Weak," draft class can produce a long list of starting-caliber players. The Lakers seem to be aware of that fact.

With limited cap space and a questionably appealing crop of trade assets beyond its draft picks, Los Angeles seems determined to make this selection count.

In the event that the Lakers ace the 2024 NBA Draft, they'd be adding a productive player on a cost-efficient deal. That would be a departure from the norm, as trades for Anthony Davis, D'Angelo Russell, Dennis Schröder, and Russell Westbrook have all seen Los Angeles part with draft picks.

There are still a slew of questions to be answered this coming summer, but the fact that the Lakers are even considering a trade up is a testament to the sense of urgency to improve.