As the NBA Draft approaches on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a number of options for their No. 22 pick in the first round.
The Lakers have already worked out a number of prospects and should have some solid options to choose from if they stay at 22.
They have also had reported interest in moving down, which would give them an extra pick or two in the second round, where they have had success finding gems in the past.
The final option would be moving up, and it appears that is an option the Lakers have considered as well. According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the Lakers offered Kyle Kuzma and the No. 22 pick to the Indiana Pacers for the No. 13 pick and salary filler but were turned down:
Kuzma and the Lakers’ 22nd pick was also discussed with the Pacers. The talks centered around acquiring the 13th overall pick from Indiana and needed salary filler but was turned down, HoopsHype has learned.
The salary filler in that deal likely would’ve been Jeremy Lamb, who the Pacers have been shopping this offseason. It doesn’t seem they have interest in taking of Kuzma’s contract though, so the Lakers will have to look elsewhere if they want to move up into the back half of the lottery.
With rumors out that they are looking to move up, the Lakers must have a certain prospect in mind that they would like to take that won’t be available to them at 22.
Lakers continue to be linked to Duarte
The player they have been linked to the most is Oregon’s Chris Duarte, who is an older prospect that would be able to come in and contribute right away with his 3-point shooting and defensive toughness.
Duarte was originally projected to go around the Lakers’ pick in the 20s but his stock has risen throughout the draft process, so L.A. would definitely have to trade up to get him.
While what the Lakers will do on draft night is anyone’s guess, it’s clear that Rob Pelinka is searching every avenue to improve the roster and Thursday could also decide their course of action in free agency.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!