Lakers Rumors: Young Core, Millsap, Noel, Odom

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak indicated last month that he’d be perfectly happy not to make a trade this season, since he’s pleased with the young talent on his roster. So far, the Lakers’ discussions with teams have reflected that stance. League sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Los Angeles hasn’t included Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, or D’Angelo Russell in any trade talks, and that isn’t expected to change in the coming weeks. According to Deveney, young role players like Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson are also unlikely to be moved.

While the Lakers aren’t eager to break up their young core, there are indications that the team is still exploring possible trade options. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Lakers were among the clubs to express interest in Paul Millsap before Atlanta pulled him off the market. L.A. would also have interest in Nerlens Noel if and when the Sixers get serious about moving him, Deveney writes. For now though, the club appears content to exercise some patience and move forward with its current roster.

Here’s more from out of L.A.:

  • One Western Conference scout who spoke to Deveney had high praise for the Lakers’ young trio of Ingram, Randle, and Russell. “If you made a list of the 20 best players who are 22 or under, I think you’d have to have all three of the Lakers’ young guys on there,” the scout said. “They’re three of the best young guys in the league. There’s really not a lot of teams can say that, and I think a lot of mediocre teams would like to swap rosters with the Lakers right now.”
  • Asked by TMZ about whether he had any interest in returning to the NBA as a coach, former Lakers forward Lamar Odom admitted that he has thought about it, acknowledging that he even contact head coach Luke Walton to convey his interest.
  • The idea of Odom joining the Lakers’ staff under Walton probably isn’t a realistic one at this point, according to Mark Medina of The Orange County Register, who notes that the team is mindful of Odom’s continuous recovery. Nonetheless, Walton isn’t shutting that door. “Lamar would be great,” the Lakers’ head coach said of his former teammate. “Anyone who knows Lamar, when he’s right, he is one of the most likeable people they’ve been around. He has a great knowledge of the game and has a great way of communicating with people.”
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