NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Looking For Assets, Willing To Trade Veterans

NBA rumors have suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers will look to add assets by trading away veterans in a salary dump to salvage the roster and make room for a potential free agent run this summer.

The Los Angeles Lakers would be in favor of such a move because their current NBA draft picks depend upon where they finish the season, Hoops Hype reported this week. To keep their 2017 first round selection, the Lakers would have to wind up being selecting as one of the top three picks. Should the team fall to fourth or worse in the NBA draft lottery, Los Angeles would ship their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers as well as hurt their future even further, the article explained.

“If L.A. loses its 2017 first-round pick, they will also have to give their 2019 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic. That means if the Lakers fall outside of the Top Three on lottery night, they will lose two of their next three first-rounders.”

All of the pick-swapping comes from the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades the Los Angeles Lakers made several seasons ago. If Los Angeles continues to tank the remainder of this season and earns a top-three draft position, the Lakers would lessen the compensation due to other teams tremendously. Instead of shipping a first-round draft pick to Orlando in 2015, the venerable NBA franchise would only surrender two second-round draft picks that season, keeping a chance of adding an impact player alive.

The added benefit to the Los Angeles Lakers would be to acquire another talented superstar to go along with their tremendous young core, the article explained. The prospect of losing two of their next three first-round draft picks has left the team looking to add assets — draft picks or personnel — now in exchange for their aging veterans.

Los Angeles is currently in position to have the third-best chance of earning the No. 1 selection in the draft. Only the Brooklyn Nets (9-45) and the Phoenix Suns (17-38) have worse records than the Lakers currently possess at 19-37. However, the NBA franchise is in a perilous position as the Orlando Magic, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Minnesota Timberwolves hover above the Los Angeles Lakers with 20 wins each.

Bleacher Report suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers might try to move Lou Williams or Nick Young before the fast-approaching NBA trade deadline. According to multiple rumors about Lou Williams and Nick Young, both players represent the team’s best offensive targets and would be of interest to a playoff-bound team.

Shooting guard Lou Williams is having a banner year for the Los Angeles Lakers. In his 12-year career, Lou Williams has never averaged more points per contest (18.4) than this season. Ten-year veteran Nick Young is also enjoying a stellar year for Los Angeles, averaging 14.0 points each outing. Only D’Angelo Russell — the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 — is scoring more points per game (14.2) than Nick Young has this season for the Lakers.

The Inquisitr previously reported that Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio could be a target for the Los Angeles Lakers. Early season talk would make a move for Ricky Rubio make sense for both teams; Los Angeles wants to unload veteran salary while Minnesota seeks a strong veteran presence in the locker room. NBA rumors suggested Lakers forward Luol Deng was being targeted by the Timberwolves as their head coach Tom Thibodeau had previously coached the veteran while both were with the Chicago Bulls.

Other NBA rumors have suggested that Los Angeles’ Jose Calderon could be targeted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Inquisitr reported. The Lakers could dump more than $7 million in salary by unloading Jose Calderon to the Cleveland Cavaliers — a franchise in need of a quality back-up to Kyrie Irving as the squad

Do you think the Los Angeles Lakers will be active before the trade deadline in an attempt to unload salary from their aging veterans? Follow the Inquisitr on Twitter (@InquisitrSports) to join in on the conversation.

[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]

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