With the NBA playoffs underway, the Lakers season is complete and boy, do they have a big summer ahead of them.
The team ended the year on a high (or low, depending on how you much you value tanking) when the won five of their last six games. This late season streak had strong implications on the team’s draft lottery standings as the team fell from the second spot that they help for most of the year to the third spot in the lottery.
For those that don’t know, this would give the Lakers a 46.9% chance of retaining their pick and a 15.6% chance of landing the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft.
So, needless to say, there is quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the draft for the purple and gold but for this mock draft, we just will just run one draft lottery simulation and will play it out with the order we are given.
Lottery simulation (via Tankathon)
*I’m not saying that the Lakers need to send me to the draft lottery to represent them, but I mean, my resume speaks for itself.
1. Markelle Fultz PG/Washington
The Lakers desperately need another playmaker to go along with D’Angelo Russell and if they were to take Fultz, they would get just that. His ability to score in the pick-and-roll as well as create for others would fill in nicely in the starting backcourt. It should be noted that if the team keeps the pick there is a real chance they trade it away for an established star.
2. Lonzo Ball PG/UCLA
Even with Eric Bledsoe and Tyler Ulis in Phoenix I would be shocked if Fultz and Ball are not the first two names called on draft night.
3. Josh Jackson SF/Kansas
Jackson would put the Sixers all in on Ben Simmons running the offense but he would help immediately on the defensive end.
4. Dennis Smith Jr. PG/NC State
I mean, he’s not Terry Rozier or anything, but Dennis Smith Jr. fits right in with the Celtics roster.
5. Jayson Tatum SF/Duke
I can’t recall if he was on the white board at the Magic’s facility but he is an actual small forward which means the league might be able to enjoy
Dario Sar Aaron Gordon.
6. De’Aaron Fox PG/Kentucky
Kris Dunn was pretty bad last season so I think the Wolves add Fox to go with KAT to give them a little insurance for the future point guard spot.
7. Malik Monk SG/Kentucky
The Knicks are a mess. Though adding arguably the best scorer in the draft to fill the void that Carmelo Anthony will leave once Phil Jackson runs him out of town would be a nice complementary piece to Kristaps Porzingis.
8. Jonathan Isaac SF/Florida State
Sacramento could propel their rebuild with two top-10 picks in the draft this year. Isaac has some of the highest upside of all the prospects and does not play center so, win-win.
9. Lauri Markkanen PF/Arizona
With Dirk Nowitzki at the tail end of his career the Mavericks would be able to build around Markkanen. The two players have very similar games so learning from Dirk would be the best possible scenario.
10. Frank Ntilikina PG/France
Being able to get players in positions of need is going to be big for the Kings this year and Frank Ntilikina fills the role as Buddy Hield’s backcourt mate. Ntilikina is definitely raw but has the physical tools and feel to be a great player.
11. Justin Jackson SF/North Carolina
Michael Jordan gets to draft a Tar Heel and the Hornets add a shooter that could help them right away.
12. Zach Collins PF/Gonzaga
I really love Collins’ game and this seems like the ultimate Pistons pick. Also, this is the best Pistons logo.
13. OG Anunoby SF/Indiana
The Nuggets have the talent on their roster to allow them to take a gamble here, and with OG there is tremendous upside if he can recover from his injury.
14. TJ Leaf PF/UCLA
The Heat are in a tricky spot in regards to the power forward position with the return of Chris Bosh looking unlikely and James Johnson set to be a free agent. Leaf might be a reach here but would give them some clarity moving forward.
15. Terrance Ferguson SG/Australia
Terrance Ferguson is a bit of an unknown but he would give the Bulls a much needed shooter and someone who wouldn’t take the ball out of Jimmy Bulter’s hands much.
16. Justin Patton C/Creighton
With approximately 74% of the draft picks this year, the Blazers will add a ton of youth or try to package the picks and move up. If they stay put Patton is a solid option here.
17. Jarrett Allen C/Texas
Playing Myles Turner at the center has not panned out thus far so the Pacers could look to add a young guy to help in the frontcourt. Getting Allen at 17 would be excellent value.
18. Donovan Mitchell SG/Louisville
The Bucks can afford to draft a solid shooter here because they have…well, none. Mitchell would be a nice, young player to pair with Malcolm Brogdon as well.
19. John Collins PF/Wake Forest
With both Paul Millsap and Mike Muscala set to hit free agency, the Hawks get a solid prospect in Collins in case either of them split.
20. Ivan Rabb PF/Cal
Rabb is one of the more talented prospects that might be available later in the first round and with 3256375 first round picks, the Blazers can afford to use it on a project.
21. Luke Kennard SG/Duke
The Thunder are currently a one man machine with Russell Westbrook and desperately need someone to space the floor. Kennard does this and could soften the blow if Andre Roberson leaves in free agency.
22. Harry Giles C/Duke
Brooklyn has the ability to get a low-risk, high-reward player here in Giles. His potential rivals nearly any player in the draft but there are certainly a ton of questions surrounding him.
23. Ike Anibogu C/UCLA
The freshman center would bring the Raptors their modern NBA big man. Anibogu has great size, quickness, and athletic ability that Toronto has been lacking in Jonas Valanciunas.
24. Tyler Lydon PF/Syracuse
This would be a very Utah pick. He does a bit of everything and can stretch the floor as a big, with few pressing needs the Jazz can take a gamble on Lydon.
25. Isaiah Hartenstein PF/Lithuania
With a new GM on the way it will be hard to gauge what Orlando will do to their current mess of a roster. Hartenstein in the late first would be good value though as he has high upside.
26. Juwan Evans PG/Oklahoma State
How many picks do these guys have???
27. Hamidou Diallo SG/High School
Again the Nets go with a high upside pick here in Hamidou Diallo. If he stays in the draft there will be various landing spots for the 18 year old. Also, our condolences to his family on the passing of his brother, Cheick.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 12, 2017
28. Josh Hart SG/Villanova
It is pretty tough to gauge someone like Josh Hart’s draft stock as seniors sometimes fall into the second round. However, Hart would give the Lakers a guard option who is ready to play from day one. He is an above average defender (Big East Def. POY), efficient scorer (.619 TS%), and improved shooter (.404 3P%) that could flourish in Luke Walton’s system.
29. Semi Ojeleye SF/SMU
This guy is a ton of fun and seeing him go to San Antonio to create havoc alongside Kawhi Leonard is just slightly unfair. Ojeleye is a jack of all trades and does essentially everything a modern NBA wing/big is used for and then some.
30. Sindarius Thornwell SG/South Carolina
The Jazz have a huge offseason ahead of them with Gordon Hayward and George Hill set to be free agents, but if they retain everyone they could become a massive threat in the West. Thornwell would provide some insurance for Rodney Hood and Dante Exum in case of injuries.
Keep up with all of the prospects the Lakers bring in for workouts with an up-to-date draft workout tracker here.