Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is open to the possibility of trading the their pick in the 2016 NBA Draft even if it falls within the top 3 of the rookie selection.
While 16 teams are preparing for the NBA playoffs, the rest of the eliminated teams are already making their plans for the upcoming NBA Draft in June which includes the rebuilding Lakers.
“If you get a top-three pick … not only does it get you the ability to take a player that is considered top-three in the world, you have the ability to move the pick,” Kupchak said via Basketball Insider. “I think there are some quality players that can be starters or All-Stars in this league, [and] that goes beyond two players.”
With the current status of the Lakers, they need a new franchise player to fill the void with the retirement of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers are projected to have a cap space of about $60 million, which could be enough to land two maximum-salaried players, as noted by Basketball Insider.
Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are among the projected top picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Many teams are eyeing the promising stars including the Lakers. Depending on the NBA lottery, the Lakers could have a shot at landing either of the top prospects mentioned or other promising rookies like Jaylen Brown, Buddy Hield, Dragan Bender and Jamal Murray.
But as Kupchack mentioned, the Lakers will explore the possibility of trading the high draft pick if it gives them a shot of getting a superstar in return.