Rob Pelinka Says Lakers Will Only Trade 1st-Round Picks to Propel Them Toward Title

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 04: Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat at Crypto.com Arena on January 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka aren't changing the tune they've been singing since the summer: They won't trade their future 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks unless it substantially improves their title odds.

Pelinka reiterated that stance Tuesday:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Rob Pelinka said every trade LAL evaluates involving the 2027 and 2029 1st round picks has to make them feel like it will propel them towards a championship and "there is no in between." If nothing presents itself with that type of upside between now and Feb. 9, they'll wait

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

I asked Rob Pelinka to what extent input from LeBron James and Anthony Davis will factor into roster decisions leading into Feb. 9 trade deadline <a href="https://t.co/CyXcJTZgrG">pic.twitter.com/CyXcJTZgrG</a>

Generally speaking, the speculation around those picks was that the Lakers would move them to facilitate trading Russell Westbrook and his $47 million contract. But with Westbrook adjusting well to a sixth-man role (15.9 PPG, 7.6 APG, 6.6 RPG) and the Lakers fighting back to a more respectable 22-25 record after a dreadful 2-10 start, such a trade doesn't feel as drastically needed as it did over the summer.

To this point, the Lakers haven't been rushed into moving either of those picks. It sounds as though they aren't wavering from that approach, even with the Feb. 9 trade deadline looming.