With the NBA Draft less than a week away, the Los Angeles Lakers are in prime position to add another promising young player to their young core. With the Philadelphia 76ers seemingly set on taking Ben Simmons, it looks as if Duke’s Brandon Ingram will be headed to Los Angeles.
The Lakers have, however, brought in a number of top prospects as guys like Buddy Hield and Jaylen Brown have both worked out for the team.
“I think we all assume that Ingram’s going to be the guy at No. 2, but they’ve brought in Marquese Chriss, they’ve taken a long look at him,” Ford said in a SportsCenter appearance. “They’ve brought in Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and while I still believe that it will be Ingram at No. 2, the Lakers have explored other options. And again I think the concern with Ingram is his lack of strength and how NBA-ready he’s going to be because of that.”
Ford does concede that Ingram is still the likely choice, but also brings up another scenario that he considers ‘more likely’ in the Lakers potentially trading D’Angelo Russell for another top-5 pick:
“I think more likely the Lakers are trying to pick up another pick in this draft in the top five and the guy that they have that they can shop is D’Angelo Russell, a guy who was their No. 2 pick in the draft last year but burned some bridges in the locker room.”
Russell surely didn’t endear himself to the locker room or many Lakers fans with the Nick Young video scandal that popped up late in the season. Even still, at only 20 years old and with obvious potential, it would seem to be surprising if the Lakers chose to give up on him so soon.
That being said, a top-5 pick in the draft may be worth considering as there are a number of potential options. The Lakers could replace Russell at point guard with someone like Kris Dunn, or add a big man like Chriss or Bender.
As the draft nears, the rumors surrounding the Lakers continue to heat up and it is anyone’s guess as to exactly what the Lakers will wind up doing.