NBA Rumors: Will the Lakers ultimately trade D’Angelo Russell for a top five draft pick?

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Mar 30, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) at press conference related to forward Nick Young (0) at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are shopping D’Angelo Russell to acquire another top five pick this offseason. The Lakers already own the second overall pick in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft next week.

The Philadelphia 76ers are set to select Ben Simmons with their top pick on draft night. The Lakers can add Brandon Ingram to their young core as they own the second overall pick. The Lakers closely watched draft prospects like Jaylen Brown and Buddy Hield in pre-draft workout sessions. The Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell with their No. 2 pick in the last year’s NBA Draft.

Why are the Lakers shopping D’Angelo Russell?

ESPN’s Chad Ford pointed out that the Lakers are also exploring another possibility of trading Russell for a top five pick.

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“I think we all assume that Ingram’s going to be the guy at No. 2, but they’ve brought in Marquese Chriss, they’ve taken a long look at him,” Ford said in a SportsCenter appearance.

“I think more likely the Lakers are trying to pick up another pick in this draft in the top five and the guy that they have that they can shop is D’Angelo Russell, a guy who was their No. 2 pick in the draft last year but burned some bridges in the locker room.”

The 20-year-old guard harmed his reputation with the Nick Young video scandal which surfaced late in this season. The Lakers may replace point guard Russell with the likes of Kris Dunn, or add a big man like Marquesse Chriss or Dragan Bender.

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But Russell is potentially a star in the making, and an integral part of the Lakers young core. The entire team is excited after the franchise hired Luke Walton as head coach. At this moment, it appears unlikely that the Lakers would ultimately give up on Russell so early.

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