Data Shows Lakers Are Third-Best Drafting Team Since 2009
Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE via Getty Images

The 2021 NBA Draft is just days away which means the Los Angeles Lakers have another chance to add a young player who could potentially help the team. A lot of prospects have worked out for the team and whoever they select, should they choose to keep the pick, it would seem likely based on recent history that they will be a real contributor.

That is because the Lakers front office and scouting department have done an outstanding job in recent years of finding good NBA players in all ranges of the draft. Be it in the first couple of picks, mid-to-late first round, or even second round, the Lakers have been excellent with their draft picks and the data bears that out.

According to Brayden Gerrard of Towards Data Science, the Lakers rank as the third-best drafting team in the NBA since 2009:

The Denver Nuggets rank second and the Lakers third. While the Lakers haven’t picked any homerun prospects, they’ve selected a number of good role players in the late first and second round.

When going through the recent drafts by the franchise it should come as no surprise that they rank this high, trailing only the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets. As Gerrard noted, the team may not have selected any superstars, but they have a number of outstanding selections to their name.

And to be fair, the team does have some All-Stars under their belt as well with Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell gaining the accomplishment after being traded away. Lonzo Ball has also turned into a more than solid guard with there even being rumors about a possible return to the team in free agency this summer.

But it’s the late-first and second round where the Lakers have really shined. The likes of Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac and Talen Horton-Tucker were all taken 27th or later in the draft yet became excellent contributors over the years. This simply shows that the scouting department for the Lakers has been excellent at identifying who can really help a team, regardless of where they have a pick.

Lakers have explored moving down from No. 22 pick

While the Lakers currently hold the 22nd pick, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be that way by the time the draft approaches. Trades are always a possibility and seemingly even more so in this draft and the Lakers are no exception.

It has been reported that the team has explored moving down in the draft in order to possibly gain a second-round pick or two. With the Lakers having no picks in the second round, adding one may not be the worst idea especially if the team feels as if it can still get a player they desire in the first round.

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