The Los Angeles Lakers are all-in on their deliberate rebuild and will add at least one more significant piece with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Thursday night. Apparently, they are looking to do even more than that, as multiple reports claim the Lakers are trying to trade for a second lottery pick. That news proves, yet again, Los Angeles isn’t looking for a quick fix and is fully intent on building a contender slowly.
The Lakers hold the No. 2 pick in the draft, as well as the 28th selection. While they are not going to budge from the second spot, they seem likely to try and package the 28th pick with a player or two in order to move up. Los Angeles would like to add a shooter and strengthen its perimeter defense.
At No. 2, the Lakers appear locked in on UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball. While the team has flirted with Kansas frosh Josh Jackson and Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox, the consensus is that LA will take Ball Thursday night. If that’s the case, a move to surround him with another shooter and potentially someone who can help him out defensively would make a lot of sense.
The 2017 draft class is incredibly deep, so if the Lakers can convince a team in the 10-15 range to drop down, they could wind up with an impact player. Los Angeles could offer Jordan Clarkson or possibly Julius Randle along with the 28th pick. While the Lakers do love Randle and think he’s a key piece to their future, Larry Nance Jr. could fit in ably at forward in his place.
In the end, this stance from Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka is just more evidence the franchise is not star-obsessed like it used to be. The Lakers won’t be sending young assets in exchange for Paul George or anyone else.
Whether or not the Lakers pull off a deal is yet to be seen, but they are intent on adding more young talent, which is yet another indication they are all-in on their rebuild and not looking for a quick fix.