Recently Sporting News released an article about the Lakers young core. The article was well written and had some important reports that I will go over here.
The first and most encouraging bit of news is that opposing scouts praised the Lakers young core. A scout in the Western Conference said that if one made a list of the 20 best players who 22 years of age or under, the Lakers have 3 of them. He is obviously referring to D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram (who he stated would be the best of the 3, something I agree with). If the league has a positive opinion on the Lakers core it is a great selling point to free agents. This may be praise from a scout, but it is a good indicator of how the rest of the NBA feels about the Lakers talent. This also raises the young core’s trade value, BUT….
The article also stated the Lakers have not enganged any of those 3 in trade talks. This is fantastic. It is nearly impossible to get equal value for talented young players, especially with the new CBA helping teams keep their stars. If you trade Russell, Randle, or Ingram, it may help you win 5 more games this year and the next, but could cost much more down the line.
The article also said that most opposing executives don’t see the Lakers trading Jordan Clarkson or Larry Nance Jr. These 2 may not be as vital to the core as the previous 3, but they are good supporting pieces. It makes sense why the Lakers would prefer to keep them.
However just because the Lakers don’t want to trade their young guys, doesn’t mean they have not talked about trades. They have talked to the Hawks about Paul Millsap. They also have shown interest in Nerlens Noel. Apparently, they have even tried to sell Luol Deng. My opinion on Millsap is negative. He is a great player, but over 30, a free agent this summer, and plays a position we are set in. I would love Noel. He fits with this group great and fits the timeline also. Selling Deng will be hard, but would be great if they can.
The article is a great read and you should read the whole thing. But this was just some of my thoughts on the major points