The Lakers seem to be facing reality head-on. Recently, we had a report come out that the Lakers will not attach a first-round pick to get rid of Luol Deng. Of course, that may now be true, but what if that mindset came to fruition after gauging the market?
That may be the case according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN: “You talk to teams around the league, no one is bailing the Lakers out with Deng’s contract. They’re not. Teams have asked for multiple first-round picks. They’ve asked for Brandon Ingram. They’ll ask for Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers have essentially given up on the idea that they can trade Deng.”
The Lakers seem to be in a tough position where they’ll have to give up a similar stash or possibly, even more, to get rid of Luol Deng than it did Timofey Mozgov. More emphasis on young talent and more committed to a path forward that doesn’t involve letting go of assets for cap space. Cap space has not equaled premier talent and no one knows that better than the Lakers.
We can also infer that the Lakers value Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma much more than D’Angelo Russell. That may be obvious for some, but it’s interesting to have it out there in a season that could be likened as a prelude to a very important offseason in the new regime’s time in office.
Interestingly enough, Wojnarowski brought up that the Lakers may have set the value for getting rid of a bad contract with the D’Angelo Russell trade. It’s amazing how life works.