After yet another subpar first half of the season, rumors have been circulating regarding the Los Angeles Lakers' desire to upgrade their roster. With the team currently not even slotting into the postseason picture, it would make sense for Rob Pelinka and his front office companions to canvas the league in search of improvement.
With LeBron James leaving the door open for a potential departure following the current campaign, it would be shocking if the organization does not indeed pull the trigger on some type of roster rearrangement. In order to do so, they will need to part with at least one/some of their current assets, and they do have some pieces that could produce a palatable trade package.
If they are going to part with any of their present pieces, it will be important for them to identify which ones are more valued within the franchise. With that in mind, here are the Los Angeles Lakers' top 15 trade assets as we approach the season of change.
Lakers' trade assets, 15-11:
15: Clippers 2024 2nd Round Pick
As part of the four-team trade with the Clippers, Magic, and Nuggets which involved Patrick Beverley and Mo Bamba prior to last season's deadline, the Lakers picked up two 2nd rounders from their crosstown rival Clippers. Seeing that the Clippers have been rolling with James Harden (22-12 record since his arrival), their selections in the next two drafts (assuming Harden re-signs, which is a very bold assumption these days) should fall somewhere towards the tail end of the rotation.
14: Clippers 2025 2nd Round Pick
Referencing back to the James Harden acquisition, the team struggled in the first few games following his addition. However, we have seen the positive results that have come with giving them some time to adjust. They could very well make a run at a title this season, but giving them a full season to build chemistry could translate to them blossoming into a true powerhouse in the 2024-2025 season. If that were the case, then their selection in next year's draft could fall even lower than their spot in the 2024 draft.
13: 2025 2nd Round Pick
It seems as though LeBron will be back for at least another NBA season, being that he is currently still playing at a darn-near MVP level. If he returns to Los Angeles, which many assume he will, they should yet again be in a state of title pursuit which should not bode well for their pick placement in the draft. Regardless, we have seen the magic that the scouting department has worked in the latter round of the draft.
12: 2027 2nd Round Pick
Things get much less clear on the direction of this franchise when you start to think of the post-LeBron era. LBJ will almost undoubtedly be retired at this point, leaving Anthony Davis as the sole bonafide superstar to build off of. AD will be 34 years old at the time of the 2027 NBA draft, meaning the team should still be looking to contend in the midst of his prime. However, that will depend largely on what the front office elects to do with this roster prior to the current season's deadline.
11: 2030 2nd Round Pick
Branching off of the previous notes, Davis will be 37 years old at the time of the 2030 NBA draft. With that in mind, there is a stronger chance that the Lakers will grow a bit weaker in the time spanning from the 2027 draft to the 2030 draft. A weaker team means a higher draft pick, which opposing front offices relish.