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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Lakers Focus In The Upcoming Draft Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="140"] The upcoming NBA Draft will be the most important for the Lakers in a long time as they begin rebuilding the team, and preparing for [new_royalslider id="140"] The upcoming NBA Draft will be the most important for the Lakers in a long time as they begin rebuilding the team, and preparing for Rating: 0
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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Lakers Focus In The Upcoming Draft

The upcoming NBA Draft will be the most important for the Lakers in a long time as they begin rebuilding the team, and preparing for life without Kobe Bryant.

This will be the team’s first lottery selection since the 2005 season, when they selected Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick in the draft. That pick proved to be a great one as Bynum was a large part of the Lakers’ back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

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With a lot of holes on the roster, the Lakers will have a lot of options once their time to select arises. Big men like Joel Embiid and Julius Randle, wings like Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, and point guards like Dante Exum and Marcus Smart combine to form a very talented draft class.

This begs the question, where should the Lakers place their focus? So we asked our panel of experts, which position do the Lakers most need to target in this year’s draft? This is what they had to say:

Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): The Lakers will be major players in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft and will be forced to make a move that could impact the franchise for years to come.

With that being said, the best move the team can make is going after Jabari Parker and therefore drafting a small forward. Parker is arguably the most NBA-ready of all the draft prospects at this point in time and would be a welcome addition alongside Kobe Bryant.

Obviously, Carmelo Anthony’s free agency status could change things in terms of what the Lakers intend to do. Luol Deng may also be a player they target in free agency. If Anthony is available and the Lakers want him, I’d go with a point guard in the draft, namely Australian Dante Exum.

First priority, small forward. Backup plan, point guard.

The Lakers draft position and intentions in free agency will dictate the position they target. It’d be a safe bet to assume point guard or small forward, but there’s a chance they could go with a center if Joel Embiid falls to them.

Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): The Lakers need to draft the best player at any position right now — with the exception of shooting guard. Even then, if they draft a shooting guard, they can always move Kobe Bryant over to small forward.

The bottom line here is that the Lakers are currently lacking talent and need to draft the best possible player, regardless of position. Management has been trying to acquire an elite point guard for some time now (first Chris Paul, and then Steve Nash), but it hasn’t quite worked out. However, the Lakers sorely need rim protection as well as perimeter defense.

Once again, the Lakers should draft the best player they can get. This has actually been Mitch Kupchak’s philosophy as GM, so I’m sure he’ll continue to follow that strategy.

Ramneet Singh (@Ramneet24): The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and this year’s class is one of the deepest we have seen in a while. From Andrew Wiggins to Jabari Parker, there are a number of talented players about to embark on an NBA career and there is a chance one of them land in Los Angeles.

At this point, the Lakers have a solid backcourt with Steve Nash and either Kendall Marshall or Jordan Farmar for next season. Kobe Bryant will also be in uniform come next fall so the Lakers don’t have to worry too much about getting a guard in this year’s draft.

However, with the possibility of losing out on small forwards this summer, the Lakers should target one this June. Wiggins and Parker will be the marquee players in the draft and the front office should go after one of those two before a big man liked Embiid or a point guard like Dante Exum.

Both Wiggins and Parker have enough upside to develop into future All-Stars and over time they can become the face of the Los Angeles Lakers. With Bryant on the verge of retirement, getting a skilled small forward in this year’s draft can set the team up for the future.
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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

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  • LakersHeatBeef

    Lakers possible draft prospects and their future outlook.

    Andrew Wiggins

    Best Case Scenario Tracy McGrady type offense with Scottie Pippen type defense.

    Middle Ground Paul George with way more athletic ability and a better defender.

    Worst Case Scenario Rudy Gay with better much defense and more athletic

    Jabari Parker Best Case Scenario Cross between Durant and Carmelo

    Middle Ground Taller version of Bernard King with a much better 3 point shot

    Worst Case Scenario Michael Beasley with a much better attitude and sober

    Dante Exum

    Best Case Scenario Penny Hardaway with a little Michael Jordan mixed in

    Middle Ground Steve Smith with much better handles and a better passer

    Worst Case Scenario Shaun Livingston with much better passing ability

    Joel Embiid

    Best Case Scenario Hakeem Olajuwon with a mix of Tim Duncan elite big man

    Middle Ground Dwight Howard on defense with much better offense and skills

    Worst Case Scenario Greg Oden with injuries and Hasheem Thabeet bust

    • Zimmeredge

      i agree with everything you’ve just said.
      no matter who we’ll draft among those guys it will be a huge boost.
      there’s no question mark over Embiid’s back for me.
      but i’ll go after Wiggins or Exum (eventhough we already have two guards) first then Parker and Embiid.

      • Brandon Leong

        I agree with you guys there, however I would very much like Exum, Parker and Embiid. I prefer Exum, as to me, he’s very Kobe-esque, and that kid has already put it to his agent he wants to be the mentee of Kobe. There’s no reason not to draft someone loyal, who is willing to learn, hungry, and WANTS to be in Lakers. Wiggins’ as our pick does not really knock on my door, unfortunately.

        Please don’t talk about signing Melo as FA, he’s too expensive and he can’t do much.

    • J Taylor

      As far back as I can remember, all Lakers championships had an elite Center. – Bynum, Shaq, Kareem…

      If available, Embiid is the pick.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Yes the Lakers FO is 100% committed to the upcoming 2014 NBA draft.

  • jeremy

    The focus should be getting a big who can guard the rim. If not a big a PG. They say sf but if we can some how keep young and bazemore SF is set

    • Chrmngblly

      I also think we should think of Kobe as a 3 for the future. He can play the spot and he may be too slow to defend the 2 against some of the quick young guards coming up.

      I would like it if Bazemore turns out like the second coming of Michael Cooper. I know, I know….but if you are going to dream, dream big, eh?

      So we need a point and a rim protector. Keep Meeks.

      Pick Embiid. Buy Lowrey.

  • jeremy

    Lakers draft pick can go so many ways but it all depends what spot they pick. I bet some out there say forget the draft and trade the pick for love

  • Kay Carter

    If we can’t get Lowry, i say a PG….if we can Get Lowry then we need to hopefully get Embiid, we dont really need SF since there is many in Free agency….and we have enough on the team

    Embiid, Exum, PG, Wiggins

    • J Taylor

      If the draft selection is a PG (Exum / Smart) –
      Then bid aggressively on G.Monroe.

      If the draft selection is NOT a PG -
      Then bid aggressively on Bledsoe.

      • Chrmngblly

        Or Lowrey

      • Kay Carter

        why not Lowry?

    • comrade24

      problem is the draft happens before FA so this strategy won’t work

      • Kay Carter

        really? damn i never realized that……

  • Zimmeredge

    “At this point, the Lakers have a solid backcourt with Steve Nash and either Kendall Marshall or Jordan Farmar for next season. Kobe Bryant will also be in uniform come next fall so the Lakers don’t have to worry too much about getting a guard in this year’s draft.”

    what the hell? where that come from? i mean 41yo Nash who can barely play 2 games a week/month. Farmar who’s injury prone and get one every 4weeks. Kobe Bryant who’ll be 35-36yo next season and we have no garranty over his level of play. Kendall Marshall is the only reliable guard we have and he will be, at best, our bench pg next season. OMG. i can’t believe it…

    • daniel

      I completely agreed. If there is one area where we need direction is at PG. We can always get board bangers in free agency and in the draft later on, if it is not this year, it will be next year. This is a rebuilding process, and it won’t happen in a single year, no matter how much Kobe bitches about it.

      • Chrmngblly

        A gifted 5 is the hardest to find. If healthy, we take Embiid.

        Nash got us where we are now, let’s not forget that…;-)

  • quickster007

    The Lakers should look at center and point guard. However, Joel Embiid has some back issues and Dante Exum looks great against mediocre competition The best choice would probably Andrew Wiggins at a small forward spot. But the lakers really in need of healthy point guard, Nash and Farmar are old and injury prone. The Lakers might as well take a chance with Dante Exum at point guard.

    • comrade24

      you really think Wiggins is better than Parker? I disagree. I do think they are the only two players in this draft this will be franchise type players, but i think Parker hands down will be the better NBA player.

  • J Taylor

    SIMPLIFIED:
    - Pick Highest Ranked player:

    1) Wiggins
    2) Embid
    3) Exum
    4) Smart
    5) Randal

    • Sam Saab

      Parker?

    • Chrmngblly

      Randle can’t jump and the bigs are bigger, stronger and faster in the NBA.

  • corky carroll

    We would be in position for a better pick if this team had any kind of clue on the art of REBUILDING and quit winning games they should lose (I can’t believe I am actually saying this, but it’s true). I know that Red is sitting up in basketball heaven just smiling and smoking a big cigar, knowing those two Laker wins over his Celtics are gonna pay big dividends to them in the draft. It sure would be better to draft at number 3 or 4 than at 5, 6 or 7. But, that said….. it IS always great to beat Boston.

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