Lakers Rumors: Top Trade Buzz as 2019 Postseason ContinuesMay 17, 2019
The New Orleans Pelicans were the big winners of the NBA draft lottery, landing the No. 1 pick and all, but the Los Angeles Lakers have to feel pretty good about the fourth pick.
"I will tell you there are some incredibly talented, impact players there that we're going to study deeply," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters. "And then, of course, we'll canvass the league and see what value that pick has. But either of those options is an extraordinary win for the franchise."
With 34-year-old LeBron James the centerpiece, it's likely Pelinka and Co. look to deal the pick, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is an obvious target.
However, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said this on The Jump: "From what I understand, the Pelicans are not interested in making a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers."
Further, the Lakers may not be able to offer the best deal. While they do have some intriguing young pieces and that fourth pick, the New York Knicks have the third overall pick and several other draft selections to play with.
While L.A. may offer the best overall package, it may have to massively overpay to do so. At some point, that stops making sense.
"Top-five picks in the draft, if you go back in the history and study them, those picks can alter and impact franchises," Pelinka said. "This is a big moment for us."
Adding a player like Vanderbilt's Darius Garland or Virginia's De'Andre Hunter No. 4, along with a seasoned veteran free agent or two, may be enough to make the Lakers contenders—even if a trade for Davis never materializes.
"They would've been in the top-four conversation [in the Western Conference] this year without the injuries," a league scout told Brad Botkin of CBS Sports. "Anyone who doesn't believe that wasn't paying attention."
The Lakers might also be able to add a high draft pick to their roster if they're willing to move on from point guard Lonzo Ball. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported before the lottery the Chicago Bulls would consider sending their draft pick to L.A. for Ball if it fell in the "No. 3 to No. 6 range."
Chicago landed at No. 7.