The most prominent rumor circulating about the Los Angeles Lakers surrounds the No. 7 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and Steve Nash. In return, L.A. would receive Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Lakers have made it well known that using the pick in the draft is far from a certainty. Prepared to trade the pick if the right deal comes along, it appears they could have their first legitimate trade scenario they should pull the trigger on.
Carter-Williams would join the Lakers on the back of a season that brought him the Rookie of the Year Award. Carter-Williams can do it all. He averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds during 2013-14, which are the numbers the Lakers were often without at the point guard position last season. Nash is more than likely only capable of playing 50 games at best, so bringing in the 22-year-old Carter-Williams ensures them of a season’s worth of play provided there aren’t any unexpected injuries.
Young is a soon-to-be 26-year-old (his birthday is tomorrow) and athletic player the Lakers should be pursuing this offseason. He averaged 17.9 points and six rebounds per game last season, albeit on a terrible team. At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, Young would add the physicality the Lakers so desperately lacked last season. Coming to Los Angeles with a current 76ers teammate, who was the catalyst of so many of his points in Philadelphia, will give the Lakers some instant offense along with Kobe Bryant while the team learns to play with each other.
Young is in line to make $9.4 million next season with an early termination option in 2015-16. The cap hit might be a cause to decline the deal, but if the Lakers want to be a playoff team in the upcoming season, Young will go further to realizing that goal than Nash would.
The 76ers are intent of trading up for Marcus Smart, who is likely still to be on the board at the seventh pick which the Lakers currently occupy. What will be in the back of the minds in the Lakers’ front office is the prospect of Joel Embiid dropping as far as seven after the recent news of his foot injury. The Lakers were known to be happy to recruit big men and patiently wait for their development under the late Jerry Buss. With Jeanie and Jim now calling the shots, a different approach might be on the horizon that could benefit them in the short-term.
If the deal is in fact on the table, it’s one the Lakers need to consider seriously. With a week remaining until the draft, there is no hurry to agree to anything, but if this is the best deal come June 26, the Lakers should return the phone call.