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Report: Lakers never offered Julius Randle in DeMarcus Cousins trade talks

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers

NBAE/Getty Images

The Lakers reportedly put Julius Randle “in play” in DeMarcus Cousins trade talks last summer.

What does “in play” exactly mean?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports on Randle:

the prospect that general manager Mitch Kupchak refused to include in those brief trade talks for Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins.

If this is true, the Lakers erred.

But the Lakers also have incentive to push this narrative for a couple reasons:

1. The Lakers want to enhance Randle’s trade value. If they wouldn’t trade him for Cousins, other potential trade partners targeting Randle would have to offer even more.

2. The Lakers want to keep Randle happy and confident. He might not appreciate his team shopping him only one game after drafting him No. 7.

On the downside, the Lakers look foolish because Cousins is vastly superior to Randle. Randle is a nice prospect. Cousins has established himself as one of the NBA’s top players, and he’s on a team-friendly contract that runs the next three years.

Did the Lakers offer Randle in Cousins trade talks? I don’t know, but they definitely should have.