Lakers Lobbied to Trade Future Draft Pick to Show Commitment to LeBron James

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James might be in the twilight of his career, but he’s still putting up numbers that most players can only dream of, much to the delight of Los Angeles Lakers fans.

However, there’s no doubt that LeBron needs more help than he once did, which is why the Lakers made a list of moves at the February 9 trade deadline to appease his appetite for success.

Yet, according to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the Lakers could still do more, and it all starts with trading away their 2029 first-round draft pick this summer.

While they traded away their 2027 first-round pick, they held on to their 2029 first-round selection. Given that LeBron James is 38, Anthony Davis is 30 and no one else on this roster resides in the elite tier, that pick could prove valuable down the line,” Buckley wrote. “That’s why L.A. needs to let it go this summer…If the Lakers aren’t committed to the present, then why have James on the roster at all?”

The Lakers have been reluctant to trade away their future draft assets, yet, given the team’s current trajectory, they may be enticed to test the market in the hope of landing a genuine difference-maker ahead of next season.

Lakers Urged to Test Interest in Anthony Davis

In the same article, Buckley also suggested that the Lakers should test the waters on potential interest in Anthony Davis, as his inability to remain healthy is putting the purple and gold in a difficult position year after year.

“Since James has encountered his own injury issues—which are unlikely to decrease with age—the Lakers might want more stability out of their second star.” Buckley wrote. “If they don’t trust Davis to provide it, they owe it to themselves to see how rich his trade market is. If a desperate team would pay a fortune for him, this front office would at least need to give it some thought.”

Davis has only taken part in 44 games for the Lakers this season but has been dominant when on the court, averaging 26.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 56.1% from the field and 80.5% from the free-throw line.

Lakers ‘Interested’ in Re-Signing D’Angelo Russell

Since returning to the Lakers at the February 9 trade deadline, D’Angelo Russell has proven himself to be an ideal fit in the team’s rotation and has shown an ability to play alongside LeBron.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who was speaking on a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast. The Lakers are interested in re-signing him when his contract expires at the end of the season and utilizing him as the third star on the team’s roster.

“They looked at D’Angelo Russell as someone who could be their point guard of the future and potentially that lead ball handler and third-star type of guy that could fit around Anthony Davis and LeBron,” Buha said. “From what I’ve been told, the Lakers have very strong interest in re-signing him. I believe it’s mutual on both sides. It’s just going to come down to what type of deal does that look like?”

Russell will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the current season, but the Lakers will be hoping they can convince him to stay in the City of Angeles for years to come.