Lakers reportedly willing to trade D’Angelo Russell for top-five pick

The Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 2 overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft, but they might be willing to deal last year’s No. 2 pick to acquire another top-five pick.

ESPN’s Chad Ford said the Lakers are open to trading guard D’Angelo Russell after just one season.

In a Saturday appearance on SportsCenter, Ford also said Duke forward Brandon Ingram is not “a foregone conclusion” with the No. 2 pick as Washington forward Marquese Chriss is also in the mix.

“They’ve brought in Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and while I still believe that it will be Ingram at No. 2, the Lakers have explored other options,” Ford said. “And again I think the concern with Ingram is his lack of strength and how NBA-ready he’s going to be because of that. I think more likely the Lakers are trying to pick up another pick in this draft in the top five and the guy that they have that they can shop is D’Angelo Russell, a guy who was their No. 2 pick in the draft last year but burned some bridges in the locker room.”

The Lakers were a disaster in Kobe Bryant’s final season and Russell was a disappointment off the court. He was a second-team All-NBA Rookie Team selection after averaging more than 13 points and three assists per game, but the former Ohio State guard created a rift with teammates by videotaping a conversation with Nick Young.

This may just be nothing more than Ford’s opinion, but where there’s smoke, there’s often fire and the next week could get interesting with the draft set for June 23.