NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Looking To Make Deal That Improves Them For Next 3 Years

While the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to make a trade since the start of the regular season, they have been the most active team in the NBA when it comes to rumors. Except for LeBron James, it appears that nearly every player on the roster has had their name thrown into a trade rumor.
But, despite the chaos, one thing has remained constant. The Lakers will not make a trade involving their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 unless the return is significant enough to propel them into championship contention.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers are reportedly looking for trades that will improve their fortunes over multiple years, not just the 2022-23 season.
The Lakers are rumored to be looking only for trades that will improve them for the next three seasons, which contradicts previous reports that the team does not want to take on long-term debt. Of course, there are ways to improve the team’s prospects over the next three years without committing to multi-year contracts.
The famous Buddy Hield and Myles Turner for Russell Westbrook trade, for example, involves only an expiring contract and a two-year deal. However, the Lakers would retain both players’ bird rights, allowing them to re-sign them to multi-year contracts that would take them above the salary cap when they became free agents.
They could also sign DeMar DeRozan, who is under contract until next season, when the Lakers will regain bird rights.
Once again, it appears that the Lakers are shifting their expectations for a potential mega-deal during the season. Importantly, it appears they are content to let this team finish the season and regroup in the offseason, when they will have another tradeable first-round pick and nearly $30 million in cap space.