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Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Possible Draft Day Trades

Nick Ut/Associated Press

The NBA draft is less than a week away, and buzz is starting to ramp up regarding the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in a possible trade involving the No. 2 overall pick. 

According to ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, the Lakers have held “internal discussions” about potentially moving back to pick No. 4 in a swap with the Phoenix Suns. However, Ford noted the Lakers would only have interest in such a deal if the Suns included a 2018 first-round pick as a sweetener. 

That’s not surprising, considering the Lakers now owe their unprotected 2018 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to the terms of the 2015 trade deadline blockbuster that sent Brandon Knight to the Phoenix Suns and Michael Carter-Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks. 

As things stand, the Suns could have two first-round picks in 2018. Not only are they in possession of their own 2018 first, but they acquired the rights to the Miami Heat’s top-seven protected selection through a 2015 trade that sent Goran Dragic to South Beach. 

Moving back two picks would also allow the Lakers to still snag one of the draft’s top prospects. According to Ford, the Lakers remain “very high” on former Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox and former Duke swingman Jayson Tatum even if they strike out on Lonzo Ball or Josh Jackson. 

Ford also relayed word that the Lakers have discussed possibly trading the second pick to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for the No. 5 and No. 10 selections in this year’s draft. 

Those reports mesh with a separate one from the Los Angeles Times‘ Tania Ganguli that surfaced on Thursday. 

Citing a source who requested anonymity, Ganguli reported the Lakers “have been taking and making calls about trading the pick.” 

Now, none of this is to say the Lakers are intent on parting with the pick. Rather, it shows they are doing their due diligence in planning for the future—especially since they’re already down an asset in 2018. 

And with president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka under the microscope as they enter their first draft in charge of the front office, all options should be explored as the Lakers attempt to position themselves as mainstays in the Western Conference for seasons to come. 

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