NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Open To Moving No. 2, Which Could Be Bad For Celtics


May 19, 2016

The Los Angeles Lakers benefited from the luck of the ping-pong balls in the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery, and they might take advantage in a way you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

The Lakers currently hold the No. 2 pick at next month’s NBA draft, but Bleacher Report reported Wednesday that the Lakers actually are still open to trading the pick. Many expected the Lakers to select whoever the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t pick with the first selection — either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram — but a win-now mentality could have the Lakers looking elsewhere.

“The Lakers will actively explore trading the pick,” Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding wrote Wednesday. “They want to get better as soon as possible — in part to make sure Philadelphia doesn?t get too good of a pick next year when the Lakers? first-rounder conveys to the 76ers if it?s outside the top three. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is also seeking a better blend of youth and experience on the roster.”

This ultimately could be bad news for the Boston Celtics, who couldn’t move up into the top two spots via the draft lottery. The Celtics also have a sense of urgency, and they’re much further along the rebuilding road than the Lakers. Many expect Boston, which owns the No. 3 pick, to explore trading that pick to add to its growing young core. However, if the Lakers shop the No. 2 pick, that obviously is a much more tantalizing prospect for teams around the league, especially when it’s widely accepted that there’s a drop-off in talent after the first two picks.

Still, even with the second pick, the Lakers might have trouble finding a deal they deem worth trading the selection.

“But it’s an open question if the Lakers can find a star another club is willing to send away,” Ding explained. “Trading away the likes of Paul George or Jimmy Butler would be hard-to-explain steps back for the Pacers or Bulls. And with George Karl gone and a new arena to open, the Kings aren’t likely to move DeMarcus Cousins.”

Click to read our post-lottery NBA mock draft >>

Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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