Originally posted on Sportsnaut  |  By Vincent Frank  |  Last updated 1/11/17

The Lakers are looking for a way to bolster the frontcourt and perhaps chase one of the lower playoff spots in the West. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some major struggles recently, the Los Angeles Lakers just find themselves a few games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s been a dramatic turnabout for the organization, one that has fans thinking of more success down the road.

With a young core to build around, the Lakers’ trajectory is pointing nowhere but up. That’s in large part due to the job Luke Walton has done in his first season as the team’s head coach.

Still, at 15-27 and with a 5-17 record since the start of December, the Lakers are obviously on the outside looking in out west. This has led to some speculation that they might be looking for an upgrade before the trade deadline.

According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, one player the Lakers have kept tabs on is Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel.

“The Lakers have inserted themselves on trade talks this season and will continue to do so,” Deveney reported. “They had talks with Atlanta about Paul Millsap and expressed interest in Nerlens Noel, if the Sixers decide to go ahead with a deal for him.”

The issue here is that Los Angeles is unwilling to part with any members of its young core. This includes the likes of Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, two likely key role players moving forward for the team. With questions surrounding the Lakers’ draft status over the next couple years, they might not have the assets to acquire someone of Noel’s ilk.

Though, it’s been well known for some time now that Philadelphia has been looking to move either Noel or Jahlil Okafor (more on that here).

With the surplus of big men the Sixers boast, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of these two moved.

For his part, Noel is averaging a career-low 7.3 points while playing just over 14 minutes per game. If he’s the odd-man out, the Sixers might very well look to get pennies on the dollar for his services. If so, the Lakers will surely show interest.

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QUIZ: Name every Los Angeles Lakers first round draft pick since 1988

Since 1988, the Los Angeles Lakers have selected 21 players in the first round of the NBA Draft. How many can you name?

1988: 25, PG, Notre Dame
David Rivers
1989: 26, C, Serbia
Vlade Divac
1990: 27, C/PF, Clemson
Elden Campbell
1992: 15, SG, Missouri
Anthony Peeler
1993: 12, SF/SG, North Carolina
George Lynch
1994: 10, SG/SF, Temple
Eddie Jones
1996: 24, PG, Arkansas-Little Rock
Derek Fisher
1998: 26, PG, Minnesota
Sam Jacobson
1999: 23, SF, Augsburg
Devean George
2000: 29, C/PF, Stanford
Mark Madsen
2002: 27, SF/SG, Fresno State
Chris Jefferies
2003: 24, PF/C, Illinois
Brian Cook
2004: 27, SG/PG, Slovenia
Sasha Vujacic
2005: 10, C, St. Joseph (HS)
Andrew Bynum
2006: 26, PG, UCLA
Jordan Farmar
2007: 19, SG/PG, Georgia Tech
Javaris Crittenton
2009: 29, PG/SG, Florida State
Toney Douglas
2014: 7, PF, Kentucky
Julius Randle
2015: 2, PG, Ohio State
D'Angelo Russell
2015: 27, PF, Wyoming
Larry Nance, Jr.
2016: 2, SF, Duke
Brandon Ingram

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