Aside from the ongoing Conference Finals series’, the NBA is also preparing for its upcoming 2022 NBA Draft where another 60 players will see their dreams realized.
The Los Angeles Lakers will need to work harder than the rest of the league when it comes to finding worthwhile prospects as they do not own a pick in the draft, a consequence of the Anthony Davis blockbuster. However, fans should still be optimistic the scouting department can find another diamond in the rough as they have a proven track record of finding players who can come in and immediately contribute.
Los Angeles has particularly found success in the second round and they could possibly add a pick by trading away cash, via John Hollinger of The Athletic:
We were critical of the Lakers’ decision to not pay a team cash to take DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline, but it may pay off at the draft. L.A. has been open about using its remaining cash stash (the Lakers can put $4.7 million into a trade between now and July 1) to buy its way into the second round, where the Lakers currently do not have a pick. The Lakers’ scouting department has built up an impressive track record of finding sleepers late in the draft, so it will be interesting to see who they might target.
The most recent example of the Lakers doing this was when they bought the No. 46 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft from the Orlando Magic in order to select Talen Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker showed flashes in his second year and was awarded a three-year deal as a result.
Because L.A. is strapped for future assets and does not have salary cap space, finding talent on the cheap is of the utmost importance when it comes to building out the roster for the present and future. As is the case every year, good players fall through the crack so the Purple and Gold need to be diligent in identifying those talents and doing whatever they can to bring them aboard.
Jamaree Bouyea looks to Austin Reaves as an example
The Lakers recently held their first pre-draft workout that featured intriguing prospects like Jamaree Bouyea. Bouyea helped his draft stock during the NCAA Tournament and is now projected to go in the second round or at the very least become a sought-after undrafted free agent.
L.A. struck gold when they signed Austin Reaves after he went undrafted and Bouyea acknowledged he looked to him as an example of a player who made an impact.
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