The Los Angeles Lakers were surely one of the winner’s coming out of the 2016 NBA Draft as the team was able to select two high-ceiling players at positions of need. If the Lakers had their way, however, they would have added to their draft haul with another second-round pick.
Armed with the second and 32nd overall picks in the draft, the Lakers took the player Luke Walton wanted all along in Brandon Ingram, as well as Croatian center Ivica Zubac, whom most considered a first-round prospect. Ingram has long been the expected pick at No.2, and Zubac’s skill set certainly makes him an interesting pick at 32 for now.
However, according to Eric Pincus of BasketballInsider.com, the Lakers were also in pursuit for another second-rounder:
Lakers were willing to pay cash for another 2nd rounder but weren't willing to trade a future 2nd
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 24, 2016
Though it remains unclear whether it was a certain player they were after, the Lakers certainly felt there was enough talent in this year’s draft to at least consider making a move. With so many unexpected players being taken in the first round, there was plenty of talent remaining late into the second.
It seemed the purple and gold were adamant about buying the pick straight up, rather than making another deal that would force them to give up a future second-round pick. It was the buying of the 46th pick two years ago that netted the Lakers Jordan Clarkson, an important piece of the team’s future.
After slowly building their team through the draft over the last couple of years, the team now has a foundation in place and will hope to add to that through free agency next week.