NBA Rumors: A surprising development may transform the Lakers summer plans

LeBron James, Anthony Davis
LeBron James, Anthony Davis / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

With only a few days remaining in the regular season, we now know that the Los Angeles Lakers are headed for the Play-in Tournament. Not only that, but one loss during the tournament would see them miss the playoffs entirely and be among the 14 NBA lottery teams.

Although that would be disappointing, it would give them a valuable asset, which they can use to try and improve their team this summer. Of course, the New Orleans Pelicans have the rights to that pick thanks to the Anthony Davis deal. Or, the Pelicans could choose to defer and acquire their pick next year.

It was generally assumed that the Pelicans would take advantage of that ability this summer, with the Lakers potentially being a lottery team. However, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Pelicans are likely to let the Lakers keep their pick this year. If true, it would transform L.A.'s offseason and give them a chance to make a serious upgrade.

What the Los Angeles Lakers could do with their 2024 first-round pick.

The Lakers are rumored to be planning a big offseason deal for a third star, with Trae Young potentially being an option. If they miss the playoffs, they could offer up a lottery pick as well as their 2028 and 2030 picks, as well as Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, and Gabe Vincent for Young.

That might actually be a competitive deal and could potentially net them a third star to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Also, with Bronny James likely being a second-round pick, they could scoop him up, all but ensuring that LeBron stays put with the Lakers for another season or two. With their 2024 pick potentially in play, it allows the Lakers to more easily construct offseason deals to improve their roster.

Or they could conceivably keep that pick in hopes of landing a cheap rotation player with upside and try to trade other first-round picks in a deal for a third star. That would allow them to have their cake and eat it too. Ultimately, if O’Connor is correct, the Lakers keeping their 2024 first-round pick could dramatically alter their offseason plans for the better.

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