The Los Angeles Lakers’ scouts have proven their analytical prowess over the last years, finding a slate of gems on the fringes of the NBA Draft.
A number of the Lakers’ selections in the second and late-first round have become respectable role players in the NBA. L.A.’s 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft — Jordan Clarkson, who now plays for the Utah Jazz — has turned into one of the league’s most lethal sharpshooters and scooped the 2021 Sixth Man of the Year award.
In the following years, the Purple and Gold brought Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma into the league — using picks no higher than No. 27.
The Lakers will have a chance to find another talent this year as they have reportedly acquired the No. 35 pick from the Orlando Magic in the second round, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Orlando's pick at No. 35 for a future second-round pick and cash, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, the pick the Lakers will be sending back to Orlando is in 2028:
I can confirm what's already being reported — the Lakers have acquired No. 35 in tonight's draft for a 2028 second-round pick and cash.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 23, 2022
The Lakers showed an intention to buy their way into the second round by organizing several pre-draft workouts in recent weeks — even though they had traded all their picks away. Vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka later confirmed that the front office was looking for an opportunity to acquire a 2022 second-rounder.
Pick No. 35 if one of the first of the second round, so the Lakers should be able to bring in a prospect that can contribute right away.
Lakers expected to be top destination for undrafted free agents
Besides the 35th pick, the Lakers might also be able to find roster pieces among the pool of this year’s undrafted free agents.
Reports claim that L.A. will be among the top destinations for those who won’t hear their name being called on draft night, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves.
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