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With a recent string of wins, the Lakers have seemingly played their way into the third slot in the lottery. Due to that, the Lakers are now going to essentially face a coin flip weighted against them as to whether they’ll keep their pick.
This leaves the doomsday scenario of the Lakers losing their first-round pick to the Sixers as the more likely outcome.
What happens if the Lakers lose their pick? It won’t quite be the end of the world as the Lakers will still be loaded with young talent. For starters, the Lakers would retain their second-round pick, which would be in the top three.
With the Lakers’ success in finding talent later in the draft, retaining the pick is no small matter.
With our new mock draft, we’ll look at the scenario in which the Lakers don’t keep their pick. To do so, I used Tankathon.com’s lottery simulator until the Lakers’ picked landed outside the top three. Buckle up for the potential reality we’ll be facing.
1. Philadelphia 76ers (via Kings) – Markelle Fultz, Washington
With the draft guard heavy at the top, I can’t imagine the Sixers taking anything but. Markelle Fultz is the grand slam for them. Also, LOL Kings.
2. Boston Celtics (via Nets) – Josh Jackson, Kansas
The Celtics have a gluttony of point guards and future star in the making Terry Rozier. With Avery Bradley set to hit free agency soon and Jae Crowder aging, Jackson makes a lot of sense.
3. Orlando Magic – Lonzo Ball, UCLA
The Magic knock one out of the park and now we get to see Lonzo Ball waste away in Orlando!
4. Phoenix Suns – De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Perhaps nobody upped their stock more in the tournament than Fox. His defense is much-needed and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Suns cash in on Eric Bledsoe and deal him this summer.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) – Malik Monk, Kentucky
The Sixers badly need guard play. Even with Fultz, Monk would be a welcome addition with his shooting. A Fultz-Monk-Simmons-Saric-Embiid lineup is actually really good.
6. Sacramento Kings (via 76ers) – Dennis Smith Jr., NC State
What the Kings probably will do is draft Jayson Tatum. What they should do is draft any guard. Like any one of them.
7. New York Knicks – Jayson Tatum, Duke
The Knicks really need to nail this pick considering how bad their current state is. Personally, I have Tatum at No. 4, so landing him at No. 7 is a huge win for the Knicks.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves – Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
I’m not as high on Lauri Makkanen as most, but putting him next to Towns and Wiggins is about as good a scenario as he could have.
9. Dallas Mavericks – Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
In the Yogi Ferrell Era, the Mavericks no longer have a need at guard. Again, I’m not quite as high on Isaac and this landing spot seems like a solid spot for him.
10. Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans) – Miles Bridges, Michigan State
There’s absolutely no way the Kings make two smart picks in the same draft.
11. Detroit Pistons – Justin Jackson, UNC
Is there someone that seems more like a Pistons draft pick than Justin Jackson?
12. Charlotte Hornets – Terrance Ferguson, USA
Did you know Jeremy Lamb is still in the NBA? And somehow only 24?
13. Denver Nuggets – OG Anunoby, Indiana
The Nuggets have a cornucopia of young talent, meaning they can afford to draft O.G. Anunoby and let him recover from his injury.
14. Miami Heat – Harry Giles, Duke
Giles’ stock is in a weird spot and he could go as high as late-lottery and as low as late first. This feels like the highest he may go.
15. Chicago Bulls – Frank Ntilikina, France
Shockingly, the Bulls experiment of Rajon Rondo didn’t work. Even more shockingly, Michael Carter-Williams didn’t fix the problem.
16. Portland Trailblazers – Ivan Rabb, California
Rabb once was a top-ranked prospect. The Blazers can afford to take a chance since they have 42 draft picks.
17. Indiana Pacers – Justin Patton, Creighton
Myles Turner probably isn’t a center long-term, so Justin Patton could help fill a void that Al Jefferson could not.
18. Milwaukee Bucks – Luke Kennard, Duke
The Bucks badly need outside scoring. Kennard might be the best scorer in the draft and would be an instant upgrade over Matthew “All Grit” Dellavedova.
19. Atlanta Hawks – John Collins, Wake Forest
Consider this Paul Millsap insurance. If worst comes to worst, at least the Hawks still have Dwight Howahahahahahahah.
20. Portland Trailblazers (via Grizzlies) – Jarrett Allen, Texas
Jarrett Allen’s recent injury news probably means he slides down a bit. The Blazers can afford to use one of their 76 first round draft picks on him.
21. OKC Thunder – Isaiah Hartenstein, Germany
Weirdly, the Thunder seem intent on giving Russell Westbrook no shooters. Since Dougie McBuckets wasn’t the solution, maybe Isaiah Hartenstein could be.
22. Toronto Raptors – Rodions Kurucs, Latvia
The Raptors are about to spend a LOT of money this summer to retain Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Rodions Kurucs can be a draft-and-stash option.
23. Brooklyn Nets (via Wizards) – Semi Ojeleye, SMU
The Nets have looked improve late in the season and Semi Ojeleye is a bit of an underrated prospect they could step in and fill the void left by Bojan Bogdanovic.
24. Orlando Magic (via Clippers) – T.J. Leaf, UCLA
What if the Magic selected T.J. Leaf and then just played Aaron Gordon at small forward?
25. Utah Jazz – Donovan Mitchell, Lousiville
Donovan Mitchell is a great fit in Utah because he can shoot and not a lot of people not named Joe Ingles or Rodney Hood can do that for the Jazz.
26. Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics) – Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
Another great pick-up by the Nets, who I’m not convinced will have Brook Lopez on the roster next season.
27. Portland Trailblazers (via Cavs) – Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
The Blazers account for 84 percent of draft picks in the first round this year.
28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Rockets) – Juwan Evans, Oklahoma St.
The Lakers have a whole lot of needs, as would any sub-30 win team. One of the more prominent ones, and one that would likely be addressed if they had a top three pick, is another creator for the offense. D’Angelo Russell shoulders that burden almost entirely as is and the Jordan Clarkson experiment late in the year has shown his limitations in that regard.
Juwan Evans probably wouldn’t be starting quality, at least not right away, but he can shoulder some of that burden and is better long-term than Tyler Ennis.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Hart, Villanova
This just feels like a Spurs pick.
30. Utah Jazz (via Warriors) – Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
There’s probably not a better place for Caleb Swanigan to land than in Utah where they have a great history of developing big men into something very productive.
31. Atlanta Hawks (via Nets) – Monte Morris, Iowa State
Dennis Schroeder had some ups and downs this year, but I don’t think the Hawks replace him right away. However, Monte Morris is really good at not turning the ball over and that should translate to immediate playing time and productivity.
32. Phoenix Suns – Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
Honestly, this is probably too low on Sindarius Thornwell, who played well in the tournament and probably upped his stock. I’d imagine that the Suns would be stoked to land him in the second. Adding Thornwell and Fox would do wonders for the Suns defensively.
33. Los Angeles Lakers – Dillon Brooks, Oregon
I’m higher on Dillon Brooks than most and I think he would be a great pickup for the Lakers. In college, he was predominantly a three who played stretch four. He connected on 40.4 percent of his threes, giving the Lakers some badly needed outside scoring.
The downside is his crazy low wingspan of just 6’4.5″ despite being 6’7″, which could reduce him to more of a small forward or shooting guard in the NBA.