Believe it or not, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t trade away every first-round pick that they’ll ever have to attain the talents of Anthony Davis in July 2019. They did trade a decent amount of picks for Davis, but that first-rounder in the 2020 NBA Draft remains as the team will have to do some scouting ahead of the November 18th draft. Instead of looking at lottery picks as the team has done for the better part of the 2010s, the organization will be looking to draft someone at the 28th overall pick of this draft. Of course, the team could end up trading their first-round pick this year just as they did last year to pair with Kyle Kuzma for example with the goal of attaining a player to help the Lakers win now and repeat in 2021.
The Lakers haven’t been connected to any draft prospects yet, until it was revealed by TCU’s Desmond Bane that he had recently interviewed with the Lakers. He told the following to Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation (transcribed by Silver Screen & Roll):
“It went really well. I got a really good feel from the call, and I feel like there was mutual interest in the call. Unfortunately Rob (Pelinka) and Frank (Vogel) were in the middle of practice so I didn’t get to meet with them, but Mr. Buss (likely Assistant GM and Director of Scouting Jesse Buss) told me that Rob was sending his best regards and that he’s watched a lot of my tape and film, so you know that’s a good thing.
“And you know, playing alongside (players) like LeBron and AD, who obviously have won championships and are striving to win more would be a good way to start my career.”
Bane would be the second straight guard taken by the Lakers with their first pick of a draft, following Talen Horton-Tucker out of Iowa State last year. As Silver Screen & Roll points out, the Lakers will almost assuredly be looking for a guard if they use that 28th overall pick due to the uncertainty of contracts with Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Avery Bradley. Bane would come into training camp as the only rookie, but would somehow not be the youngest on the team as he is currently 22-years-old while Horton-Tucker is still 19-years-old. Building off the THT connection, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic said that the main concern with Bane is his wingspan that is less than his listed height of 6’6”. NBA organizations salivate at a player who has a wingspan stretching much more than their overall height, as this indicates a player that may be a terror for other teams with his hands in the passing lanes. Although somewhat short compared to NBA guards of today’s age, THT bolstered his draft stock with a very long wingspan, much longer than his height. Vecenie points this out while also noting that Bane is a great three-point shooter, making 43.3% of his attempts in four years at TCU.
We’ll see as it gets closer to November 18th if the Lakers talk to Bane or other prospects more.