Teams around the league won’t move a needle unless the Los Angeles Lakers sacrifice their remaining future assets.
In a recent Substack post of Marc Stein, he detailed that rival teams aren’t interested to discuss a transaction with the Lakers, unless the club places their first-round picks (2027 and 2029) on the table.
Stein further notes that the Lakers are only willing to move one of these picks, and they would certainly raise a protection should they finally ship it.
Both draft picks indeed hold a lucrative value, as the future of LeBron James in L. A. remains in question due to his looming free agency status and the possibility of his son, Bronny, of entering the league in the next few years.
Since the first few moments of the offseason, rumored franchises such as the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets have expressed their interest to strike a deal with Los Angeles and gain the embattled Russell Westbrook. But their asking price remains stuck with that future first pick selection.
It remains a dilemma for the Lakers if they will indeed pull the trigger or not. Doing so would certainly give them much flexibility and competitive pieces for contention in the current James and Anthony Davis era, but it then further sheds their capacity to rebuild around and construct a long-term solid image in the association. The New Orleans Pelicans have gained almost all within their war chest for next seasons to come, and it would be risky to sacrifice their final available draft chips just to go all in again and probably see themselves to fail in clinching the 18th banner.
The current outlook of the Lakers moving forward is yet to be unveiled, but it looks like they are leaning towards preparing for it and working things out with what they possess right now.