Lakers Rumors: Keeping No. 17 Pick In 2023 NBA Draft Is Most Likely Outcome For L.A.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The work toward building a championship-level roster for the 2023-24 season has already begun for the Los Angeles Lakers as they’re knee-deep in scouting and workouts for the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft.

By virtue of their regular season record, the Lakers will be picking at No. 17 overall in the first round. It’s the first time Los Angeles has had a pick in the top-17 since the 2017 NBA Draft, so it’s an exciting time for Jesse Buss, who has overseen the draft for the organization the past several years.

The Lakers’ scouting department has been able to find gems later in the first round and in the second round in recent years, but with a pick this high they’ll certainly be able to find a prospect who can help the team both now and in the future. Trading the pick for a proven player is always an option for the franchise too, but it appears they are happy to keep their pick instead, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:

The most likely outcome is the Lakers keeping the No. 17 pick, according to multiple team sources not authorized to speak publicly. But that could change if the right trade becomes available — including a team making an enticing offer for the Lakers to trade back later in the draft.

This year’s draft class is top-heavy as its headlined by Victor Wembenyama, Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller. But there are quality players to be had well after them as well. Most draft pundits believe there’s a wide-range of talent available in the middle of the first round, so the Lakers could very well trade back and still get the prospect they’re eyeing.

Much like the NFL, it could be in L.A.’s best interest to move back in the draft and pick up an additional player or pick in order to bolster their roster. Whatever direction they decide to go in, though, the chances are they end up with someone they can grow and develop for the near-future.

Oscar Tshiebwe, Jalen Wilson headline latest round of Lakers draft workouts

As the draft creeps closer and closer, the Lakers have been busy hosting prospects in their facility for workouts. Their most recent workout group featured Oscar Tshiebwe and Jalen Wilson, two intriguing players who could sneak into the latter half of the second round.

Los Angeles does own the No. 47 pick in addition to No. 17 overall, so it makes sense why they’re looking at Tshiebwe and Wilson. The team has needs in the front court and on the wing, so one of the two could very well be the pick once the second round rolls around.

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