NBA Draft day is finally here and the Los Angeles Lakers remain a team to watch as they, like many others around the league, look to find the best way to improve their roster for next season. At one point, it seemed like Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office would be sticking at No. 17 and selecting there, but recently rumors have been floating around that the Lakers are actually looking to trade the pick.
There are a lot of avenues in which the Lakers could go should they want to deal away their first-round selection as they could move up or down in the draft, or package the pick with a player to acquire a veteran who could contribute immediately.
Whatever direction the front office goes it seems as if everything is in play. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst appeared on First Take and said the team is ‘hunting around’ on potential trades with their 17th overall pick, via Clutch Points:
"The Lakers at No. 17 are hunting around to do something with 17 either to move back and maybe get an additional pick or to trade it for a veteran."
Brian Windhorst on the Lakers' potential plans for the NBA Draft tonight 👀
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 22, 2023
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, there is also a possibility of the Lakers moving up in the draft, noting a prospect they are believed to have their eye on, while also naming a couple of veteran players the front office could be targeting as well:
Put the Lakers in a similar category of trade variance. Los Angeles has held discussions about moving up into the lottery, with some rival personnel believing the target is Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin. The Lakers have also had preliminary conversations with several teams about trading No. 17 plus the salary of Malik Beasley and/or Mo Bamba in exchange for veteran talent and perhaps a later draft selection. A few names to keep an eye on: Toronto guard Gary Trent Jr., Pacers guard Buddy Hield and Brooklyn swingman Dorian Finney-Smith, sources said.
Bufkin is certainly a very intriguing prospect who likely wouldn’t be available at 17, so if the Lakers really want to bring him on, moving up in the draft is a necessity. He is a highly athletic guard who plays hard, defends well, can create for himself and others, and made great improvements as a shooter in his sophomore season at Michigan.
Adding shooting has been a priority for the Lakers so names like Hield and Trent make a lot of sense, and Finney-Smith is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league today. All things considered, it looks as if Pelinka and the Lakers will be one of the most active teams on draft day.
Lakers move up in second round of 2023 NBA Draft
That activity has already begun well before the draft has even started as the Lakers have reportedly traded their second round pick, 47th overall, and cash to the Indiana Pacers for the 40th pick.
This move could put the Lakers in better position to bring in someone they have their eye on in the second round, or it could be packaged in another deal down the line.
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