The Los Angeles Lakers are set to have their first lottery pick since 2005 when they drafted Andrew Bynum at number 10 and their highest selection since 1982 when they took James Worthy from North Carolina with the first overall pick.
So, there’s no way the team would trade this pick seeing as they have no more first-round selections in the coming years, right?
Well, not quite.
During his exit interview with the media on Friday, general manager Mitch Kupchak admitted that trading the team’s lottery pick was “a possibility” this summer.
“I think there’s a possibility, sure,” Kupchak said during his 45-minute press conference. “Right now there’s really nothing going on. Clearly, the teams that are in the playoffs, they’re getting ready for the playoffs. Teams that are not in the playoffs, they’re having their exit interviews, but there’s not much conversation going back and forth from general manager to general manager, and that doesn’t take place until the draft order is determined, which will be May 20th.”
On May 20th, the Lakers will discover where they’ll be placed on the draft board come June 26th. They could land as high as 1, 2 or 3, though spots 4 and 5 are now out of reach due to the lottery’s structure.
The Lakers could also fall down the board, too, though the furthest the team can drop is ninth, and there’s only a 0.1 percent chance of that happening.
Seeing as this is expected to be one of the strongest drafts in a while, one would expect the Lakers to receive a lot of phone calls about their pick, especially if it ends up being catapulted into the top three.
Due to league rules, the Lakers won’t be eligible to trade their 2014 first-round selection before the draft unless they receive another 2014 first-rounder in the deal. Otherwise, the purple and gold would need to select a player on behalf of the team they’re talking to, and then trade the selection to the other team after the pick has been made.
However, how good would an offer have to be for the Lakers to bite and give up one of the best young talents they’re likely going to get their hands on in quite some time?
Kevin Love? He’ll be a free agent in 2015, anyway.
Kyrie Irving? It seems unlikely that the Cleveland Cavaliers would give up on him this early, but who knows.
Either way, Kupchak made it clear that the team will be listening to offers for their pick this summer, and while that doesn’t mean that a trade will actually go down, it will surely get the rumor mill churching as we approach the big night in June.