Topic: With the Lakers projected at selecting in the top five of the 2014 NBA draft, we examine what players they should select in the event that the front office successfully signs Kevin Love in the summer of 2015.
Context: On Tuesday, news started to surface that the Lakers were on the verge of assembling trade scenarios in order to land Kevin Love. Those reports also indicate that the likelihood of a trade happening before the February 20 deadline are slim, as Minnesota wants to do their best to sell Love on the franchise before he makes his own decision in 2015.
Nevertheless, even if the Lakers are not able to acquire Love via trade this season, they reportedly are Love’s first option once he becomes a free agent. Therefore it’s imperative that they start to prepare as if Love is already here, meaning they have to assemble a roster that is pleasing to his eyes.
That process starts this summer with the NBA draft. The Lakers will likely be in position to select an impact player, and it’s going to be key that they strike gold if they want to sell Love on the Lakers.
So of the prospects available, which would be the best fit in the event that Kevin Love became a Laker?
We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans’ take on who they think would be the best fit if the Lakers are hypothetically drafting around Kevin Love.
I presented the poll question:
Lakers fans, Since Love is seemingly a sure thing in 2015, should the Lakers draft in preparation to build around him? Who do they pick?
— Ry (@JustRyCole) February 18, 2014
Here are some responses:
@JustRyCole They pick BPA regardless. Whether Love is coming or not, doesn’t change that reality. Need talent at the end of the day.
— Ben Rosales (@brosales12) February 18, 2014
@JustRyCole A good defensive presence, in other words, Joel Embiid.
— Slim Shady (@TheLakerLion) February 18, 2014
@JustRyCole a prolific PG, exum or smart would be preferable , Ennis is also really good
— Martel (@ThoughtsofCole) February 18, 2014
— LΩF (@LOAF_92) February 18, 2014
It’s easy to say that the Lakers should simply pick the best available player on draft night, but if that player somehow doesn’t naturally seem like a good fit next to Love, then that could complicate things.
For example, while drafting Julius Randle or Jabari Parker definitely improves this team immediately next season, it could potentially cause a position conflict in the event that Love signs with the Lakers, as all three systematically fit as a power forward in Mike D’Antoni’s system.
I think that the Lakers should target guys like Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, and Tyler Ennis. Those prospects are great fits, as they fill an immediate need that the Lakers would be lacking.
If I had to choose one, I’d obviously go with Embiid, as his length and defensive presence would compliment Love very well.
What about you? Who do you think the Lakers should take?
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