The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly open to trading away their two first-round picks to acquire current Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and current Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell.
This is what GM Rob Pelinka had to say about this:
“If you make that trade, it has to be the right one. You have one shot to do it,” Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said at media day, pulling back the curtain a little on his thinking of trading two first-round picks. “So we’re being very thoughtful around the decisions on when and how to use draft capital in a way that will improve our roster.”
According to what Pelinka said, it lines up with what the Lakers have been saying all summer long in regards to trading their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.
That meant landing Irving or Mitchell, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said on The Hoop Collective Podcast.
“I’ve been told that had the Lakers been able to acquire Kyrie Irving or the Lakers been able to acquire Donovan Mitchell, either of those players, the Lakers were willing and able to move both those [first-round] picks to do it.”
The Lakers traded all of their young players and most of their picks to land Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, except for the ones they let walk away (Alex Caruso).
Before he was judicious in making trades like he was this offseason, Pelinka made deals that backed him into this corner.
The Lakers likely could use both picks to acquire Buddy Hield and Myles Turner out of Indiana (sending Westbrook back), but that doesn’t make Los Angeles a contender (a playoff team, but not a title threat), and it messes with the plan to have around $30 million in cap space next summer to chase a big name.
For now, the current version of the Los Angeles Lakers you see now will have to be the one Lakers fans settle for until more moves are made.