With the 2019 NBA Draft approaching on June 20, the Los Angeles Lakers officially started pre-draft workouts which featured Jarrett Culver.
Along with Culver, the Lakers reportedly are interested in Darius Garland and De’Andre Hunter with the No. 4 pick if they ultimately do not trade it.
However, the New York Knicks are currently evaluating all of their options after failing to land the No. 1 pick in hopes of selecting Zion Williamson.
One scenario the Knicks are considering with the No. 3 pick is trading back in the lottery, according to Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN:
New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving). Trading the No. 3 pick for the Atlanta Hawks’ two first-rounders (Nos. 8 and 10) is under consideration by the Knicks, one source said.
Before the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the Hawks reportedly favored Culver had they landed the No. 2 pick, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
If the Hawks land at No. 2, they won’t draft Morant. League sources told SN last week that, heading into the process, the Hawks favor Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver, believing that his blend of athleticism and defensive prowess will make for a smooth transition to the league and that he can develop enough of a 3-point shot to be effective in the NBA.
As it currently stands, the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to select Williamson at No. 1 and the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to select Ja Morant at No. 2. If the Hawks do trade up in the lottery and select Culver at No. 3, this means the Lakers can select RJ Barrett at No. 4 on June 20.
If Barrett does slip to the Lakers, they would be fortunate to add him to the team’s young core or could potentially trade him to the New Orleans Pelicans. As Anthony Davis’ trade request has not changed after a recent meeting, the Pelicans could have the two Duke teammates reunite in New Orleans.
Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, there will be plenty of reports and this one could potentially help the Lakers. As Los Angeles had a 4.9% chance of getting a top-four pick and somehow moved up seven spots, it is good to have options if they can move past all of the drama from the last month.