The Lakers have the pieces to trade for a superstar, but the team isn’t rushing to make any moves, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com writes. “If you grow from within, you control your own destiny,” coach Luke Walton said. “That’s the game plan. We want to see what this group can do. We don’t want to rely on anything else — on free agency, or trades.”
Lowe passes along more in his latest piece. Here are the highlights:
- DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t appear to be available in trade talks because the Kings are in contention for a playoff spot, Lowe relays in the same piece. Sacramento is just one game behind Portland in the win column for the eight seed in the Western Conference
- Rival executives are split on the value of the Lakers‘ young core, according to Lowe. Some would trade D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram for Cousins without hesitation, while others consider such a deal to be outlandish.
- If the Lakers could steal Cousins for a package of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and a future first-rounder, they should pull the trigger, Lowe opines. Though he adds that should the Kings deal the big man, it will likely be for a better package.
- Kobe Bryant‘s farewell tour wasted a year of player development and the Lakers can’t properly gauge the team’s young talent because of it, Lowe contends. Rather than playing and learning in a balanced offense, the team watched Bryant run an inefficient offense. “It was definitely a strange year,” Larry Nance said. “Playing with Kobe was awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But it was a weird season.”
- Ingram will take time to develop, but he’s already comfortable making plays for the Lakers and the team maintains high hopes for the 2016 No.2 overall pick, Lowe adds. “You can’t teach [his] feel,” Walton said. “We feel very confidently about the player he is going to become.”