2023 NBA Draft Rumors: Lakers ‘More Likely Than Not’ To Trade 17th Overall Pick
Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NBA Draft is right around the corner and the Los Angeles Lakers are quickly becoming a team to watch as it approaches. The franchise has both a first and second-round pick at 17th and 47th overall, respectively, and there are a lot of ways Rob Pelinka and the front office can go.

The coaching staff and scouts have been hard at work, getting up-close looks at a number of prospects and figuring out which of them could make an impact. But with the team still looking to compete for championships right now, the possibility of a trade is always looming as well.

And apparently, that is the direction in which the team is leaning as according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, recent buzz around the league is that the Lakers are more likely than not trade their first round pick:

The Lakers have the No. 17 and 47 picks, but there has been a growing buzz in recent days that the Lakers, more likely than not, will trade their pick, whether it’s moving up, down or out of the draft altogether, multiple team sources not authorized to speak publicly told The Athletic.

As Buha noted, trading the pick could mean any number of things. They could see a prospect they really want, but don’t believe will be available at No. 17 or they could believe they would be better off adding multiple players in the first round and trade back with a team that has more than one pick.

Or, it could be a matter of the Lakers packaging that pick with other players to bring in a veteran who can contribute right now and Buha noted that names being mentioned as possibilities include Myles Turner, Buddy Hield and Kristaps Porzingis, among others:

The framework of a deal would likely involve Beasley, Bamba and the No. 17 pick getting exchanged for a starter-level player. The Lakers could also execute a smaller deal with only one of Beasley or Bamba, plus, potentially, the pick. Names around the league that have been linked to the Lakers in recent weeks include Indiana’s Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. and Washington’s Kristaps Porziņģis, according to multiple league sources not authorized to speak publicly.

Outside of Finney-Smith, the common theme amongst all of these players listed is that they are great 3-point shooters. The Lakers were hurt by their lack of consistent perimeter shooting last season and it is well known that they want to improve that this offseason.

Which direction Pelinka and the Lakers front office will take is anyone’s guess right now, but Thursday night will be an exciting one no matter which way things go.

Dereck Lively II says Lakers were “blown away” by his shooting

One option if the Lakers do hold on to the 17th overall pick is taking Duke center Dereck Lively II. An extremely athletic big man who can finish at the rim and is an excellent rim protector on defense, the 7-footer has a lot of potential.

And Lively believes he showed that off to the Lakers in a recent workout, noting that the team was ‘blown away’ by his ability to shoot the ball, something he didn’t show much of in his lone collegiate season. If he is available at No. 17 and the Lakers choose to keep the pick, Lively will undoubtedly be a name to watch.

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