The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate at the NBA Draft Lottery as they remained in their second spot, giving them a chance to draft either Duke’s Brandon Ingram or LSU’s Ben Simmons.
The early belief is that the Philadelphia 76ers are leaning towards drafting Simmons, and the Lakers would be thrilled to land Ingram at number two. Of course, simply selecting at two isn’t the only option and general manager Mitch Kupchak will be looking at that too.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers will explore trading their draft pick:
Still, the Lakers will actively explore trading the pick. They want to get better as soon as possible—in part to make sure Philadelphia doesn’t get too good of a pick next year when the Lakers’ first-rounder conveys to the 76ers if it’s outside the top three. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is also seeking a better blend of youth and experience on the roster.
That line of thinking makes sense from the Lakers point of view. Teams with too many young players, regardless of how talented they are, usually don’t win a lot of games. Even the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the last two Rookie of the Year award winners, won only 29 games last season.
The bigger question is what Kupchak could land with that pick, and Ding believes the names who have been mentioned in earlier rumors are unlikely to be moved:
But it’s an open question if the Lakers can find a star another club is willing to send away. Trading away the likes of Paul George or Jimmy Butler would be hard-to-explain steps back for the Pacers or Bulls. And with George Karl gone and a new arena to open, the Kings aren’t likely to move DeMarcus Cousins.
What all of this seems to mean is that the Lakers are exploring all options when it comes to the second overall pick. If the right deal comes along, they will think long and hard about moving it, but landing Ingram would be another great addition as well.
Kupchak will have a lot of work to do before the NBA Draft takes place on June 23 and all avenues will be explored when it comes to improving this team.