While the latest round of Paul George rumors turn into a blazing inferno, the Lakers continue to work angles related to this week’s NBA Draft. The latest report has them looking to add another pick to their coffers, preferably in the lottery. From ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to acquire another first-round pick for Thursday’s NBA draft, league sources told ESPN.
The Lakers have engaged at least two teams in the lottery, sources said, as they search for players to improve their outside shooting and perimeter defense.
Los Angeles currently holds the second and 28th picks in this year’s draft. While there have been inquires on the No. 2 pick, sources said it remains unlikely the Lakers would trade out of that position.
First, it’s no secret two of the most lacking areas on current roster are shooting and defense, so it’s no surprise the Lakers would be targeting those specific skill sets should they get their hands on another lottery pick. It’s unknown what prospect(s) pique the Lakers interest most and, of course, it would depend on how high a lottery pick the team is looking to add.
That said, the team is working out Gonzaga big man Zach Collins Monday and he fits the mold of a big man who has some defensive skill and potential as a shooter. Another name to watch would be Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen, a true 7 footer who several scouts call the best shooter in the draft. Markkanen is currently projected to go in the top-10 of the draft while Collins is consistently slotted in the 9-12 range, so both could, in theory, be targets.
Again, though, this is all speculation at this point and should not be taken as even likely to happen. It seems every year we get reports that the Lakers are looking to acquire a lottery pick and rarely does it actually work out that way. I mean, remember when the team was going to trade Metta World Peace to draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Remember when the Lakers “loved” Deron Williams and wanted to trade into the top part of the draft to select him out of Illinois? I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Additionally, one would have to look at what the Lakers actually have to offer in a trade to be able to add such a pick. Are the Lakers going to trade Randle? Some combination of the #28 pick, Larry Nance Jr., or Ivica Zubac? Jordan Clarkson? The team simply doesn’t have a lot of ammunition with some of their lower level assets and, even if you want to trade Randle, it’s hard to know what his value is when he’s going to be eligible for a contract extension this season and a restricted free agent next summer.
So, for now at least, I’d file this rumor away as more unlikely than anything else. Still, though, it’s fun to consider. Only a few days left until the draft.