Lakers Looking to Trade First Round Pick, Per Report

They needd someone to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Pelinka and Redick addressing the media on Monday.
Pelinka and Redick addressing the media on Monday. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers finally have a new head coach in place so the team's attention can turn to the 2024 NBA draft and the upcoming season. First up they have to navigate the draft, which is the first in the JJ Redick era. They hold the No. 17 pick, but according to Jake Fisher of Yahoo!, the team is willing to trade it if they can acquire a “significant contributor.”

A trade makes sense because obviously they wanted a contributor, but also because they haven't had great luck with the draft lately. This is actually the second straight year they hold No. 17. Last year they took Jalen Hood-Schifino who ended up appearing in just 21 games as a rookie and scored a grand total of 34 points. If they can take the same pick and turn it into someone like Jerami Grant or Jonas Valanciunas, that's a no-brainer.

Going back further the Lakers previous first round pick was Isiah Jackson who was sent to the Indiana Pacers as part of the five-team Russell Westbrook deal a week after the 2021 draft. So it's not like trading a draft pick for a proven asset always works out either.

The year before that the Lakers took Jaden McDaniels with No. 28 and immediately sent him with Danny Green to Oklahoma City in exchange for Dennis Schroeder. While Schroeder contributed that season, the Lakers probably wish they had kept Daniels who has turned into a great defender and solid contributor for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

According to Fisher, the Lakers could also trade down with the pick. The New York Knicks and Utah Jazz were mentioned as two teams with lower picks that could be combined in a deal to move up to No. 17. By moving down and adding another pick the Lakers could then justify taking Bronny James, who almost no one expects to be drafted in the middle of the first round.

So they have a lot of options. They just need to pick the right one and hope it's enough to get them out of the play-in tournament and back into contention.

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Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.