It has been expected for a long time that the Los Angeles Lakers would take whichever of the top two prospects was left with their second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. With Philadelphia seemingly locked in on Ben Simmons, that would leave Brandon Ingram for the Lakers.
There have been some questions about that, however, as the Lakers were said to have serious interest in Providence point guard Kris Dunn, and recently worked out Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield for the second time.
It looks like Ingram’s potential will win out in the end as ESPN’s Chad Ford and Ramona Shelburne report that the Lakers intend to take Ingram at tomorrow’s draft:
Barring a last-minute blockbuster trade offer, the Los Angeles Lakers intend to select Duke freshman Brandon Ingram with the second pick in the 2016 NBA draft on Thursday night, league sources told ESPN.
This was always expected to be the choice as Ingram not only is believed to have the highest ceiling, but also fits a major need for the Lakers who have a hole at small forward.
The only thing that could sway the Lakers away from Ingram would be a huge trade offer as the report also noted:
With the Lakers’ draft board coming into focus, sources held out a potential scenario where Ingram didn’t go No. 2 — a last minute blockbuster trade offer from a team offering a young, veteran All-Star in return. The Lakers don’t want to trade the pick and are bullish on Ingram. However, any chance to get a proven young All-Star now would have to be seriously considered by the Lakers according to sources.
This is something else that has been expected. The Lakers want to get back into contention as soon as possible, and Ingram could potentially net a big time player in a trade. It would surely have to be an All-Star level player for the Lakers to go through with that.
Acquiring a high caliber player could potentially help the Lakers cause in free agency, but the chances of that happening still seem slim. As it stands, it looks to be Ingram who will be the latest addition to the Lakers’ young core.