The Los Angeles Lakers currently have the seventh overall pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA draft. Although there may be some promising young talent available at the seven spot like Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh, the storied franchise continues to search for a trade partner in an effort to bring in an All-Star caliber player in exchange for the pick, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford:
The Lakers keep shopping this pick but are struggling to find an All-Star caliber big in return. If the Cavs can’t get that type of player with the No. 1 overall pick, the Lakers are probably not getting it at pick No. 7. If the Lakers keep it, they’ll want a player who can come in and contribute from day one, and three players — Randle, Smart and Doug McDermott — seem to be the targets.
At this point in time, it remains uncertain what the team’s true intentions are heading into the draft. Trading the pick may become a viable option come draft day, but GM Mitch Kupchak and company may elect to simply take the best player available as he has stated recently following the pre-draft workouts held at the Lakers practice facility last week.
With Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman all set to hit the free agent market next month, the Lakers will need help in the frontcourt with no assurances any of the three players mentioned will return.
As of right now, Robert Sacre and second-year forward Ryan Kelly might be the team’s only options in the frontcourt. Sacre is one of three players under contract for next season while Kelly can be made a restricted free agent by the team before June 30.
Considering the team’s limited options, Kelly returning seems to be a likely scenario unless another team gives the Duke product an offer the team is unwilling to match.
As for who the Lakers may target in a trade using their lottery pick remains uncertain. Kupchak will likely explore all options moving forward and weight the pros and cons of trading the pick rather than bringing in a rookie that will need to be developed.
Kevin Love has been a name mentioned on more than one occasion as a trade target for the Lakers. but with no trade assets outside of the seventh pick in the draft, it seems highly doubtful they’d be able to put together a trade package that will intrigue the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lakers Likely Draft Candidates