The Los Angeles Lakers are entering an important summer in the immediate future of the franchise, as star Kobe Bryant is coming back from a serious injury and the team will be looking to sign Dwight Howard to a long-term contract.
The team has an old roster and they need to get younger to compete in the West with teams like the Thunder, Spurs and now the Memphis Grizzlies, who proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the conference with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. The Lakers are going to go after Howard, but there is no assurance that he will sign back with them, as he is considering joining the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers will make their case for him to stay, but after a tough year and not getting along with Mike D'Antoni, there is a good chance he will bolt.
The Lakers need to get younger and since they don't have a first round pick and don't select in the draft until number 48, there is a chance that they will try to get into the first round through a trade. Some rumors say that the team will be willing to trade Pau Gasol while taking on a pick, a player and a contract, but the team may feel it is worth it since they need to get younger on the roster. Gasol had some beef with the coaching staff during the season and he has dealt with trade rumors for years. Although Bryant loves Gasol, he may be what the team needs to move to get younger so that Bryant can compete for a few more years before his career is over.
Gasol isn't the only player that could get moved before the draft or during it, as Eric Gordon could be traded by the Pelicans after dealing with an injury plagued season. Gordon missed over 40 games and he did not get along with coach Monty Williams, which means the team could try and deal him for another pick or some veteran players. The team has young talent in Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers and they would like to improve in the second year for those players. The team has a high draft pick and could select someone like Trey Burke or Victor Oladipo, making Gordon a potential trade option.
Another player that could end up on his way out of town is Wesley Matthews with the Blazers, as Victor Oladipo could be an option there as well. While the team likes Matthews, they may need to trade him to move up if they feel that Oladipo is their man. The team has a good core in Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum and they may feel that adding Oladipo is more valuable than keeping Matthews. All these deals could go down as the draft gets closer and the Lakers could do it if they are serious about getting younger.