The Los Angeles Lakers currently don’t own a single draft pick in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft — but the franchise’s actions suggest that might change before the event takes place on June 23 in New York City.
The Lakers sent their 2022 draft picks to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis trade three years ago. However, L.A. has been holding pre-draft workouts for young prospects since the end of May. The Purple and Gold can buy their way into the second round, as they can use the $4.7 million they still have available for trade and purchase a pick.
Lakers vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka has confirmed the Lakers are planning to appear on the clock at some point during draft night, per Spectrum SportsNet:
“So yeah, one of the intentional sort of philosophical, architectural visions for us is to get younger and Coach Ham has a passion for developing players. So it would be a goal for us to try to somehow get into the second round to get a young player that we can develop. We’ve had great success if you look at our draft history and the guys we’ve drafted and developed. We think we can do it again in 2022 if we can pull off a trade to get a pick.”
During the pre-draft workouts, the Lakers have hosted several prospects who have the potential to develop into valuable role players over the years. Those included reigning NCAA champion David McCormack — a 6-foot-10 Kansas forward, known for his rebounding skills and defense.
L.A.’s coaches also had a chance to take a closer look at Alabama’s 3-and-D wing, Keon Ellis, who wants to follow in the footsteps of former teammate and 2021-22 rookie standout Herb Jones.
Darvin Ham talks about Lakers ‘homecoming’ in introductory press conference
Darvin Ham takes over as Lakers head coach nine years after he left the franchise — having served as the team’s assistant between 2011-2013 in his first coaching job in the NBA.
And the reunion feels like a “homecoming,” the 48-year-old said during his introductory press conference on Monday.
“The fact that I got my start as a coach here, this place will always be special to me, always was special to me always paid attention to what was going on with the Lakers, even in my other travels through Atlanta and Milwaukee.
“So it’s like a homecoming for me in all seriousness.”
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