Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Won't Move 1st-Rounders Unless It Gets All-Star-Level Player

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 7, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham, right, speaks as he is joined by general manager Rob Pelinka during a news conference at the NBA basketball team's Media Day, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The Los Angeles Lakers won't use their 2027 or 2029 unprotected first-round NBA draft pick in a trade unless they get an All-Star-level player in return.

That news is per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday's edition of NBA Today (0:49 mark).

The Lakers started the season 2-10 but have followed that with an 8-3 stretch.

Anthony Davis has been the catalyst for that run, as he posted 35.3 points, 15.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in his previous nine games before Tuesday, when he played just eight minutes because of an illness.

He is averaging 27.3 points, an NBA-best 12.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season. And LeBron James hasn't slowed down in his 20th season, posting 25.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per contest.

If those two can stay healthy, the Lakers should be a playoff team in a wide-open Western Conference in which all but two teams (the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs) are within 5.5 games of each other.

The recent run has changed the team's outlook, and if it's still competitive at the Feb. 9 trade deadline, it could seek an All-Star talent in hopes of making a championship run.

For now, L.A. has a tough matchup Wednesday with the Toronto Raptors sans Davis (non-COVID-19 illness) and James (left ankle soreness). Their next chance to play will be Friday at the Philadelphia 76ers.