With an officially unofficial trade of D’Angelo Russell hanging in the wind, the Lakers entered Thursday’s NBA draft with three draft picks — their own at #2, the Nets (via Boston) at #27, and the Rockets’ at #28. By the end of the night, they’d end up with four picks, swapping #28 for the Jazz’s selections at #30 and #42. (They’d also finalize the Russell deal, which, for the life of me I still don’t understand the delay in announcement. Oh well.)
With those four picks the Lakers made some smart selections, focusing on players who not only possess good character and work ethic, but who project to be able to fill specific roster needs via emerging (or already established) skills. A brief recap:
- At #2, the team took Lonzo Ball, a prospect I think defies the noise that surrounds him and his game.
- At #27, the team took Kyle Kuzma, a rangy forward with a nice floor game who has some defensive potential.
- At #30, the team took Josh Hart, a do it all shooting guard who offers a great mix of intangibles and college production over his 4 year career in the NCAA’s.
- At #42, the team took Thomas Bryant, a big man who offers an intriguing combination of physical tools/power and stretch-y ability offensively that is worth gambling on.