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NBA Exec: Lakers' 2027, 2029 1st-Rounders 'Most Powerful' Draft Picks in League

Erin WalshSeptember 4, 2022

AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

The Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to move Russell Westbrook, and to do that, they'll likely need to part with some of their future first-round draft picks, including their 2027 and 2029 selections.

Apparently, those picks are among the most coveted in the NBA, an executive told Heavy.com's Sean Deveney:

"The two Lakers’ picks are the most powerful thing as far as picks go in the league right now. Everyone expects them to be top picks and if you can get them unprotected, everybody wants those. The Lakers only want to give up one and now you have to be thinking, if you’re the Lakers, OK, (Malik) Beasley and Bogdanovic and Jarred Vanderbilt for one of these picks and Russ? Or, you know, Clarkson or Conley in there? You’re going to want three of those five players, give up Westbrook and only deal off one of the picks. Danny might get more picks if he sells those off individually but he is not going to get better picks, and that is the thing the Lakers have as an advantage."

It has been known for a while that the Lakers are willing to relinquish at least one of their first-round picks in an effort to bolster their roster. However, Deveney wrote that the Purple and Gold "have no interest in giving up both picks without a major return."

The Lakers have already acquired Patrick Beverley this summer, though that move alone won't help get them back into contention.

The franchise has been linked to Buddy Hield and Myles Turner throughout the summer, but it isn't keen on moving those aforementioned first-round picks to acquire the Indiana Pacers tandem, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors).

In addition, the Lakers have expressed interest in Kyrie Irving, but all signs point toward the veteran point guard remaining alongside Kevin Durant with the Brooklyn Nets to begin the 2022-23 campaign.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today also recently reported that the Lakers have "some interest" in Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic of the Utah Jazz, who are reportedly available as Danny Ainge begins his rebuild after moving Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

If the Lakers want to acquire a serviceable player before the season begins, it's clear they'll have to surrender their coveted first-round selections. As they get more desperate for help, it may be easier to persuade them.

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