The Los Angeles Lakers are ready for an offseason that is going to be just as busy for them as a regular season hunt for the playoffs. With the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, they have a number of options as to what they can do with it, and that includes keeping it to select a young talent such as Benjamin Simmons. Now, there are rumors swirling that it could be used to land a veteran like Paul George from the Indiana Pacers.
The Lakers would love to make a trade for Paul George, but getting that kind of deal done would be costly. It may even end up costing them their second overall pick in the draft, but that could very well be worth it.
George rebounded from a horrible injury in fantastic fashion last season as he averaged 23.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 7.0 rebounds-per-game for the Pacers. TYT Sports believes that this is a trade the Lakers will strongly look into making as it’s believed that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
If the Lakers are going to strongly look at trying to trade for Paul George, the Pacers will likely ask for more than just the second overall draft pick. Forbes is reporting that a deal including that pick along with guard D’Angelo Russell or forward Julius Randle is what would be needed to get George to Los Angeles.
Chances are that the Lakers wouldn’t trade away Julius Randle at this time as he is someone has a lot of confidence in. D’Angelo Russell ended up causing a lot of controversy and dissension among him and his teammates that the Lakers’ organization simply doesn’t want.
George could be seen as a replacement for Kobe Bryant who the Lakers will be without for the first time in two decades. His retirement wasn’t unexpected and his production had lessened in recent years, but his presence on and off the court will be missed.
As enticing as Paul George in a Lakers’ uniform may sound, they may not want to get rid of that high draft pick just yet. General manager Mitch Kupchak even recently said that the Lakers plan on holding onto the pick for now, and one college player is campaigning to end up in Los Angeles.
The two top picks in this year’s draft are virtually guaranteed to be LSU’s Benjamin Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram. It’s still up in the air as to who will go first to the Philadelphia 76ers, but whichever one of them does, it’s expected the other will go second to the Lakers.
Lakers Nation is reporting that the rumors of Simmons attempting to be drafted by the Lakers have started to heat up. In October of last year, the star out of LSU said on SnapChat that fans would see him with the Lakers next season, but is there any truth to those still going on?
While there are a number of reasons that Simmons would want to be drafted by the Lakers instead of the 76ers, someone is now speaking out against it. Philadelphia general manager Bryan Colangelo actually had a lot to say about it.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) May 22, 2016
If Simmons really wants to go to Los Angeles, he may end up getting his wish, but it’s not something that is truly his decision. The 76ers have the first overall pick in the draft and if they hold onto it and want to take Simmons, then they will.
The L.A. Lakers are going to be big players in the NBA free agency season this summer, and they have the money to do it right. If they can’t end up landing Kevin Durant, like all other teams hope to do, then Paul George would easily improve their starting five by leaps and bounds. If they decide to hold onto that second overall draft pick, taking Benjamin Simmons or Brandon Ingram is an easy and wise choice.
[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]