Can Los Angeles Lakers Afford to Trade No. 7 Overall Pick in 2014 Draft?

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have the NBA draft lottery sadz. 

The math was always against them vaulting into the top three, but the Lakers held out hope. Why not them? Why couldn't they defy the odds and be rewarded for an abominable 2013-14 campaign that saw them gutted by injuries and humanized by the cycle of losing? This could be their year from a lottery standpoint.

It wasn't.

Cruel Ping-Pong gods slighted the Lakers. Not only didn't they give Tinseltown one of the top three picks, but they awarded No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in what can only be classified as a sick and twisted act of karma.

Cleveland had just a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, so its luck came at the expense of the Lakers, among other teams. Hollywood had the league's sixth-worst regular-season record. The Cavs' incredible rise handed Los Angeles the seventh overall pick. 

Just like that, all the whimsy was gone. Fantasies were killed. Bryant wouldn't be mentoring Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. It was all over.

But not really.

Miracles weren't worked on behalf of the Lakers, but that doesn't change much. They still face the same dilemma: Do they keep or trade their 2014 first-round draft pick?


Trade for Who?

Dealing their top pick is good in theory. 

Marc Stein of got the ball rolling in March when he suggested the Lakers would try to dangle their first-rounder in a deal for Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love. The thinking didn't have to apply to only him either. The Lakers could trade their top selection in an uber-deep draft for any star, for anyone who would help accelerate the rebuilding process.

Well, Love is available, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Additional stars—Rajon Rondo, perhaps—might reach the chopping block as well. But the Lake...

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