Rob Pelinka: Lakers Willing to Include NBA Draft Picks in Trades for ‘Right Deal’

Rob Pelinka: Lakers Willing to Include NBA Draft Picks in Trades for ‘Right Deal’
zach bacharContributor IJuly 2, 2024

EL SEGUNDO, CA - JUNE 24: General Manager Rob Pelinka of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a press conference on June 24, 2024 at UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is willing to include future draft assets in a trade, but only if the right situation presents itself.

“If the right deal comes and we have to put in draft picks, we will,” Pelinka said, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

On Tuesday, Buha reported that the Lakers have discussed trades with the Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz in recent days.

Pelinka’s plan to be stingy with Los Angeles’ remaining draft picks is hard to fault, as the Lakers don’t have a large amount of future assets to move in order to build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted on Tuesday that the team can only trade a maximum of two future first-round picks in any potential trade.

The Lakers’ front office will also need to handle James’ contract situation while weighing the value of certain trade prospects. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer declined his $51.4 million player option and is eligible to receive a three-year maximum contract worth $162 million.

Los Angeles’ offseason has been relatively quiet so far, re-signing wing Max Christie to a four-year, $32 million contract. Pelinka also selected former Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht and former USC guard Bronny James in the 2024 NBA draft.

The Lakers were reportedly in “serious talks” with Klay Thompson in free agency, although the former Golden State Warriors shooting guard chose to join the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year deal worth $50 million instead (via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski).

If the free agent market dries up, Pelinka may be more inclined to part ways with the team’s future picks in order to add complementary players and chase a championship with James and Davis.

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