The NBA draft is exactly one week away and it seems that the Lakers don’t have any clear favorites on who they would select with the second overall pick.
Most reports and rumors have the Lakers being undecided between Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson. However, another intriguing option came about on Thursday as both Chad Ford of ESPN and Tania Ganguli of the LA Times reported that the Lakers are open to trading the pick.
But another scenario has piqued the franchise’s interest. The Lakers held internal discussions about trading back two spots to No. 4 if the Suns were to offer them a 2018 first-round pick. The Suns hold their own 2018 pick (which currently projects to be a high lottery pick) as well as the rights to the Miami Heat’s 2018 pick. The latter pick is top-seven-protected in 2018 but unprotected in 2019.
Ford goes on to discuss how the Lakers believe Ball or Jackson could be available at No. 4 and if not, they could snag De’Aaron Fox or Jayson Tatum.
Then Ford offers the oft-discussed idea of trading for the Kings’ No. 5 pick.
The Kings are another potential trade partner for the Lakers. They hold the rights to the fifth and 10th picks and have discussed moving up in this year’s draft.
At No. 5, the Lakers might still be able to choose between Fox and Tatum (and potentially Ball), or just take the best prospect who’s available. And at No. 10, other strong prospects — such as Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, Frank Ntilikina, Lauri Markkanen, Kennard and/or Zach Collins — would likely still be on the board. (It should be noted that the Lakers are not considering taking Smith with the No. 2 pick.)
This report came hours after Ganguli reported that the team had made calls about trading the second pick.
“ In the month since, however, the Lakers have been taking and making calls about trading the pick, said a source who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. They’ve had scenarios presented to them, and offered their own.”
There could be a lot of interesting scenarios if the Lakers decide to trade their pick. They could either trade down or they could package the second overall pick with Luol Deng or Timofey Mozgov. Whatever the case might be, the Lakers are doing their due diligence before June 22nd.
Ball and Jackson are talented players that could help bolster the Lakers’ depth and add talent to the already gifted young core. In the past three years of being in the lottery, the Lakers kept their selection and drafted Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. In one week, we will know if they are willing to add another piece to the trio or decide to trade it away.