Lakers rumors: LA reportedly may pass on deadline deal in favor of summer pipe dream

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game
Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

After months of speculation, all eyes are on the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA trade deadline. The Lakers have not looked like a contending team this season with many believing that the Lake Show needs to make a move at the trade deadline to realize that potential.

Thus far it has been crickets on the Lakers' front. While big-name players like Dejounte Murray have been attached to the Lakers, it is growing increasingly unlikely that a trade for a big-name player will happen. In fact, at this rate, it might be more likely for the team to sell off an asset or two at the deadline.

All of this might actually be by design. According to Bill Reiter of CBS Sports, the Lakers might actually be passive at the deadline as the team could be prioritizing an even bigger trade that could be made this summer during the offseason.

Lakers may pass on trade deadline deal in favor of Donovan Mitchell trade pipe dream

This is not the first time that Donovan Mitchell has been tied to the Lakers, so this is not coming out of nowhere. Earlier this year, it was reported that there was an internal belief within the organization that the team could make a trade for a big star (like Mitchell or Atlanta's Trae Young) over the summer once the team could trade a third first-round pick.

As it stands right now the Lakers can only trade one unprotected first-round pick in 2029 but over the summer the team can trade up to three. With teams being able to trade a pick seven years into the future, the Lakers will then be able to dangle the 2031 unprotected first in any potential trade talks.

In addition to that, the Lakers may also have the team's own 2024 first-round pick to trade. The New Orleans Pelicans have the right to take either the Lakers' 2024 first or the 2025 first. If the 2024 first-round pick is not in the lottery then New Orleans may simply roll it over to the 2025 NBA Draft.

While all this sounds great on paper, the Lakers are still going to have to trade an arm and a leg to get Mitchell. If the team keeps its 2024 first-round pick then that inherently means that it is not that valuable of a pick (or else the Pelicans would just take it). With the other picks being so far in the future, they also have lesser value.

So while a "three-pick package" sounds great on paper, it would likely still need to include the trio of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Mitchell is a big-name player, but is he really worth that kind of return when he can up and leave LA after one year if he wants?

Plus, there are no guarantees that the Lakers even get their own pick in 2024. The Pelicans control LA's destiny in that regard. So why pass up on immediate help for a pipe dream over something that might not even be possible?

Anything can happen in the NBA and while it is great to prepare for the future, sometimes you have to take what you can now. The Lakers are playing a very dangerous game where they may not end up with any help at the deadline and may strike out on a big trade over the summer, too.

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