The NBA offseason is just barely underway with the Finals coming to an end on Monday. And yet, the 2023 NBA Draft is just over one week away on Thursday, June 22. The Los Angeles Lakers, home to the No. 17 and No. 47 overall picks, have some big decisions to make ahead of the draft.
They could stand pat at those picks and select best player available when the time comes. They could attempt to trade down and receive some future draft capital in the process or they could trade out of the draft altogether and try to land a veteran with the pick.
Reportedly, the Lakers are looking over all scenarios, including those that involve them trading the No. 17 pick even if there are well-fitting prospects available to them, according to Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN:
Smith is another guard with a wide range on draft night, starting with Washington (No. 8) and drawing serious interest from Orlando (No. 11), Toronto (No. 13) and New Orleans’ (No. 14). With a huge glut of guards and wings expected to be picked in this range, there are scenarios that could see Smith fall out of the lottery, giving the Lakers an opportunity to add a significant talent who started last season as a projected top-five pick prior to injuries. The Lakers could certainly use a combo guard who can shoot off the bounce, create off a live dribble, finish with creativity inside the arc and bring strong competitiveness on both ends of the floor. The Lakers are also exploring trade scenarios as well, especially with teams that have multiple picks.
In this scenario, the Lakers and Indiana Pacers could be natural trade partners. The Pacers have the 26th, 29th and 32nd overall picks in next Thursday’s draft, and could look to consolidate by moving up. If they have a prospect they like available at 17, it may be a perfect opportunity.
The Lakers could then get multiple cracks at landing an impactful role player on a cheap contract. The 26th and 29th picks would receive a guaranteed two-year deal followed by team options on Year 3 and 4, while the 32nd pick could be signed to a three-year minimum deal using the brand new exception in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
There are other teams for this scenario as well, including the Brooklyn Nets (No. 21 and 22) and Charlotte Hornets (No. 27, 34, 39 and 41).
Lakers work out Adama Sanogo
The Lakers have been hard at work hosting various NBA Draft prospects. In their most recent collection, they saw NCAA Tournament champion and the Tourney’s Most Outstanding Player award winner Adama Sanogo.
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