The Lakers surprised everyone by turning around their 2-10 start to the season and making it to the Western Conference Finals, so what will they do with their number 17 draft pick?
The purple and gold haven’t had a first-round pick since 2018, when they got Moritz Wagner as the 25th overall pick. Last season, Los Angeles picked Max Christie 35th overall in the second-round of the draft.
It is being reported that the franchise will look to keep the pick, but if a better deal with a more suitable player comes along then things may change, according to Lakers Insider Jovan Buha.
“The most likely outcome is the Lakers keeping the No. 17 pick, according to multiple team sources not authorized to speak publicly,” Buha said. “But that could change if the right trade becomes available — including a team making an enticing offer for the Lakers to trade back later in the draft. I think the right trade would involve using the pick to secure a starting-level upgrade available in a trade on draft night or later this offseason — like, say, Myles Turner in Indiana.”
This isn’t the first time Turner has been linked to the Lakers, so it is definitely possible that LA could send their number 17 pick to Indiana to build around point guard Tyrese Haliburton.
With key roster pieces heading into free agency, there have also been questions raised about what the squad will look like next season but Buha believes there’ll be less changes than people think.
“The tentative plan for the Lakers is to run it back with as much of this past season’s group as they can possibly afford under the new, stricter collective bargaining agreement,” Buha said. “They will only pursue a third star if they deem that player of a certain caliber and believe he can fit next to James and Davis.”
Of course, LeBron has dangled the possibility of not returning next season and just retiring, but many NBA Insiders believe this was a ploy so LeBron could act as LeGM and get the player/s he wanted.