Lakers Draft Day Trades Abound

Kurt —  June 25, 2009

In the first round, exactly what was supposed to happen, happened. The Lakers selected Toney Douglas, who very soon was traded to the Knicks for much needed cash (rumored to be $3 million) and a future second rounder (2011?).

The second round, the Lakers took an American in the Ukraine — Patrick Beverley. Then, just as we were learning about him, the Lakers traded him to the Miami Heat for a future second rounder and more cash.

It’s all about the cash — we want Ariza and Odom both back.

With the 59th pick, the Lakers took Chinemelu Elonu — a 6-10 F/C out of Texas A&M who likes to bang and has a real NBA body, but who apparently is very raw. Let’s be honest, this is the kind of guy the Lakers likely bring to Summer League and in as camp fodder, but who will likely spend a year at least in the D-League before making an impact. The Lakers front office is saying he can compete for a job, that they had him the 34th best guy in the draft, but to get a roster spot he is going to have to beat out DJ Mbenga or Josh Powell, two proven pros with some diversity to their games. And they are guys who know the system. Elonu has a real uphill climb. The fact of the matter is, the Lakers are not going to pay the luxury tax money for some guy to learn on the job, he has to prove he can contribute.

No, the Lakers did not take Nick Calathes, the one guy a lot of us wanted at 42. But to be honest, we wanted him because he is a known quantity. He played at Florida and worked out with David Thorpe (who promotes his guys hard). But the fact is, we never really see any of these guys. We don’t really know, it’s all second hand stuff. So, we need to trust the judgment of the Lakers overseas scouts.