While most teams would typically hang on to the fourth overall pick in any given NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have long been expected to use this selection as part of a trade package during the 2019 offseason. Though they have a number of young and promising starters, the Lakers don’t have any tried-and-tested stars aside from four-time MVP LeBron James. And that appears to be just what Los Angeles is looking for ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft, as they reportedly look for the best possible return on that No. 4 selection.
According to a subscriber-only report from ESPN (via Sporting News), the Lakers are currently “active in trade talks” involving the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, as the team is looking for an “established veteran who would be more ready” to help them improve on the 37-45 record they posted in the 2018-19 season. This comes shortly after Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters that the No. 4 selection is a “powerful asset” for the organization but also hinted that he wouldn’t mind it either if the pick doesn’t get traded.
“[N]ow it shifts, what we can get at four,” Pelinka was quoted as saying. “I will tell you there are some incredibly talented, impact players there that we’re going to study deeply. And then, of course, we’ll canvas [sic] the league and see what value that pick has. But either of those options is an extraordinary win for the franchise.”