Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism of late. Some fans have been quick to blame the high-ranking executive for the Lakers’ early-season woes. In their minds, Pelinka’s refusal (or inability) to pull the trigger on a significant trade deal is the main reason behind LA’s problems.
At least one unnamed Western Conference executive believes, however, that Pelinka is looking at the bigger picture. On a recent episode of The Crossover NBA Show with Chris Mannix and Howard Beck, the two NBA insiders discussed Pelinka’s seemingly baffling stance against green-lighting a trade for the Lakers. Apparently, this could have a lot to do with Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal:
”So here was the quote from the Western Conference executive I spoke to who had mentioned this,” Beck said. “He says ‘Washington is the one that I keep thinking that’s going to happen. … [Bradley Beal] got a no-trade clause, he wants to come to California’ — That was an interesting tidbit of this — ‘He essentially can pick where he wants to go (because of his no-trade clause)’ … So that’s the logic that the Western Conference exec was laying out to me, and he said this: ‘Whatever you want to say about Pelinka, he’s being smart, he’s taking his time.’”
If you look at it from this perspective, then it seems that Pelinka is playing the long game. Beal has long been associated as a trade target for the Lakers, and a move for the three-time All-Star has the potential to be a game-changer for LA. The fact that he reportedly wants to come to California makes this prospect a lot more interesting.
The big question now is whether or not the Lakers have enough assets to make this deal come to fruition. Will two first-round picks and Russell Westbrook be enough for Washington? If not, then Pelinka will potentially need to engage in more minor moves in order to carry out his big-picture plan.