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Lakers still trying to trade into first round

June 28, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Pau Gasol saves the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 19.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol saves the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder… (Stephen Dunn /Getty Images )

The Lakers were still trying to trade their way into the first round Thursday afternoon but nothing was imminent as the draft inched toward its 4:30 start.

The Lakers haven't had a first-round pick since 2007 (Javaris Crittenton) but were willing to part with four-time All-Star Pau Gasol if it got them high enough to draft Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Kidd-Gilchrist was expected to be among the top five picks after helping take the Wildcats to the NCAA championship last April.

The Lakers have also fielded calls from the Atlanta Hawks, who offered a swap of power forwards, Josh Smith for Gasol. There did not appear to be much momentum for that trade to take place as of Thursday afternoon.

The Lakers currently own only one pick in the draft -- the 60th and final selection.

In a smaller move, the Lakers will extend a qualifying offer to rookie point guard Darius Morris for about $940,000, making him a restricted free agent, The Times learned.

Morris took the unusual step of signing a one-year contract when he was drafted by the Lakers last season because he felt he was selected too low (41st overall).

He can test free agency, which begins Saturday at 9 p.m., but the Lakers now have the right to match if he signs an offer sheet with another team. Morris averaged 2,4 points and 8.9 minutes inĀ 19 games last season.

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