With the NBA draft lottery coming up tomorrow, I wanted to get a few quick thoughts out on who the Lakers should potentially pick with their (hopefully) three draft picks. The team has the potential to wind up with the number 4 pick based on their poor record this season and they also have picks 27 and 34. As far as keeping or flipping picks, I believe if they do receive the #4 pick it would be wise to keep and develop that player, but for the later picks it will really depend on who they get and who they could potentially flip them for.
Let’s start with the potential number 4 spot. Justice Winslow performed well at Duke at the SG/SF spot, but there’s also Willie Cauley-Stein who may be available. Cauley Stein is a center, which may be a more needed position to fill for the Lakers and lately, Kentucky players have had a decent run in the NBA (Anthony Davis, for example). These are merely speculation on my part since I don’t follow college basketball nearly as closely as I do the NBA. However, I do have a good idea of what spots do need to be filled or reinforced based on the Lakers current roster and who the upcoming free agents are.
For the later picks, the Lakers should probably go with a power foward and then a guard for the last pick. The Lakers had plenty of guards on the team this season, many just happened to be injured all or most of the season. At the 27th pick, Chris McCullough or Janell Martin would both be decent options at the PF position. They attended Syracuse and LSU, respectively, and those school have a good reputation for having some great players. Also, it wouldn’t hurt for the Lakers to start developing some younger players as they appeared to start doing with Jordan Clarkson this season. Clarkson was a late pick in last year’s draft and turned out to be a budding point guard under the advisement and mentorship of Steve Nash. The 34th pick is where I would take a shooting guard. I watched video footage of Rashad Vaughn from UNLV and Norman Powell of UCLA. Both guards had good footwork and jump shots that often saw the bottom of the net. These picks would allow the Lakers to come out of the draft with some good all-around additions to the roster. Tomorrow, however, we find out if they actually keep that top five pick. I’m sure many fans are hoping they do because after this past season, fans are definitely looking for a big turnaround.