3 Draft-Day Trades LA Lakers Could Pull off

The Los Angeles Lakers desperately need an infusion of youth, athleticism and depth. Given their cap situation, they need to acquire all those things cheaply too.

Normally the NBA draft would provide the Lakers with the perfect opportunity to replenish their roster, but L.A. does not own a first-round pick in 2013, nor a second-round pick in 2014 or any picks at all in 2015—so it will be a while before the Lakers can acquire the cheap young assets they covet.

That is, unless they can swing a draft-day deal that lands them additional picks. Here are three potential trades that would net them an extra selection in Thursday night’s draft.


1. Pau Gasol to Cleveland for Nos. 31 and 33

The Cleveland Cavaliers are perhaps the only team ideally suited to trade for Pau Gasol. They possess enough cap room to simply absorb Gasol’s contract and only send back draft picks to compensate the Lakers.

That’s perfect for the Lakers, because if they’re going to get rid of Gasol—whose contract expires after the upcoming season—they don’t want to take back any long-term salary (especially not enough to match Gasol’s costly deal) and muck up a cap sheet that will look pretty clean in 2014.

Armed with two early second-rounders in addition to their own pick at No. 49, the Lakers could grab three young players to bolster a rotation filled with holes. If they draft shrewdly, one or two of those players may even contribute as soon as this season.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, owner Dan Gilbert has made it clear that he wants the Cavs to win right now. Trading for Pau Gasol would give their underwhelming frontcourt a massive jolt and relieve the heavy offensive burden Kyrie Irving must shoulder on a nightly basis.

As long as Anderson Varejao remains healthy, a front line consisting of he and Gasol would rival any in the Ea...

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