Lakers Rumors: L.A. Not ‘Locked On’ Anyone In NBA Draft
Usatsi_9210218_153179170_lowres-e1459457150668
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate to retain their top-three protected pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, exiting the draft lottery with the second overall selection. Getting the second pick in this draft, in particular, appears to be fortuitous, as the consensus opinion is that there is a significant drop off in talent after LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram are off the board.

With the Philadelphia 76ers rumored to be set on taking Simmons with the first overall pick, it seems to be all but a sure thing that Ingram will end up in Los Angeles. However, according to Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com, that’s not the message that the Lakers are putting out there:

Should the Lakers decide to go against the consensus, as they did last year when they selected D’Angelo Russell instead of Jahlil Okafor, there would be plenty of options available to them. The team recently worked out Cal forward Jaylen Brown, whose athleticism might be a good fit on the wing. They have taken a look at Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere, whose combination of rim protection and shooting ability make him an intriguing option. Next week, the Lakers plan to work out Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield.

If the Lakers decide that Ingram isn’t the player for them, they would likely look to make a trade rather than reach for one of the aforementioned players. It’s possible that another team will be willing to pay handsomely for the number two pick, and the Lakers could use assets acquired in a trade to jump-start their rebuild.

Of course, the most likely explanation for the information that Kyler is hearing is simply that the Lakers like to play things close to the vest and won’t reveal who they are picking until the draft. Even if they are completely sold on Ingram, who they worked out last week, the Lakers have no reason to tip their hand right now.

You May Also Like

Luke Walton: Lakers ‘Have To Go Through Tough Times’ To Be Successful

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a rough stretch where very little is going right for them…

Video: Magic Johnson, Pat Riley Discuss What Made Showtime Lakers So Special

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, nicknamed “Showtime,” were perhaps the most fun team to watch in NBA history as they won five championships in a nine-year span…

Trending Up, Trending Down: NBA Season Week 23

The Los Angeles Lakers played three games last week and finished with two losses and one win…

76ers’ Ben Simmons Says Lakers Remain Top Threat To Title Despite Recent Nets Hype

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t played at their peak lately as a populous injury report remains crowded…