With the NBA Draft Lottery less than two weeks away, rumors are starting to surround the Los Angeles Lakers.
Yesterday, Colin Cowherd claimed that two of his sources have told him that if the Lakers retain their top-three protected first round pick on May 17, they intend to trade it, even if it happens to be the top overall pick in the draft. The main target Cowherd threw out there was Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins, who is reportedly now available in trade discussions.
On Wednesday, another rumor started to generate some buzz, thanks to HBO’s Bill Simmons.
If you are the Lakers, you do this deal in a heartbeat. Indiana, however, would probably hang up the phone as soon as Paul George’s name is mentioned. George has recovered magnificently from his horrifying leg injury two years ago and has reached superstar status.
George is under contract for the next two seasons before having a player option in the summer of 2018. The Pacers would be absolutely foolish to ship him out unless they were about to lose him anyways, but that’s not even remotely the case here.
Superstars are not easy to find and lock up for several years, but Indiana has done that with George. He is a guy that you build around, not get rid of.
Simmons, as a diehard fan of the Boston Celtics, lets it be known that he is a bonafide Lakers hater, so maybe he is trying to just stir up the fan base for a little fun. Not to discredit him or his sources, but I am not sure who in their right mind would consider trading George right now for someone that is not another superstar already.
Per usual, the Lakers are at the forefront of trade rumors like they are every offseason. A lot of people are throwing out the pick as if the Lakers have it already, but they don’t. With a 55.8 percent chance of retaining it, we will just have to wait and see on May 17. If they are forced to convey the pick to Philadelphia, a lot of trade rumors become moot points.
We are still 13 days away from knowing, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.