Mitch Kupchak, the Los Angeles Lakers general manager, isn’t totally averse to the idea of trading the top-3 protected draft pick during the offseason. Of course, the Lakers will know their fate on May 19 during the NBA Draft Lottery. If the Lakers fall out of the top-3, they lose their pick. If they luck out during the lottery, certain teams could come calling with blockbuster offers.
There is a 44% chance Lakers don’t keep their top-3 pick. They have a 20% chance to secure the No. 1 pick. According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, Kupchak has said “there are more than 2 potential All-Stars in the coming draft. If LAL keep the pick (56%), (they) could take a top 3 guy or trade it.” Of course, Kupchak was referring to Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons as the potential all-stars.
Here are three possible trades that the Lakers could explore for the top-3 pick:
It’s very obvious that Butler’s status as the franchise player came into scrutiny in the just-concluded regular season. For starters, Butler and coach Fred Hoiberg have publicly criticized one another.
Earlier this week, Bulls GM Gar Forman said in the team’s exit press conference that a Butler trade couldn’t be ruled out and that the two-guard was not a part of the “untouchables list”. In other words, Butler can be had with the right offer.
Suggested Trade: Lakers package Jordan Clarkson and the draft pick for Butler.
Has there been an offseason over the last 3 years when Cousins wasn’t a part of trade discussions? Cousins is a perennial trade target and the recent sacking of George Karl means that Sacramento will need a new coach.
What if the new coach isn’t willing to put up with Cousins’ disciplinary issues? Since Cousins was drafted, the Kings have sacked as many as five coaches. Perhaps, the next one would want to start afresh in a team without the disgruntled center.
Suggested Trade: Lakers package Lou Williams and the draft pick for Cousins.
Earlier this year, ESPN’s Stephen A Smith reported that Irving wasn’t happy taking “a backseat” to LeBron James in Cleveland. Also, Irivng’s representatives and inner circle reckon that the superstar point guard needs to be the primary focus of the offense, a luxury that hasn’t been afforded since James returned to his hometown franchise last season.
Last month, Smith reported that if the Cavs don’t hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June, either Irving or Kevin Love would be traded.
Suggested Trade: Lakers package Jordan Clarkson and the draft pick for Irving.