The 2018 NBA Draft is believed to be one of the deepest in recent years and the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to make a splash with the 25th and 47th overall picks. One player who is out of their range however, is 19-year old Real Madrid star Luka Doncic.
Doncic is ranked as either the top or second-best prospect by virtually every draft outlet and has drawn comparisons to the likes of James Harden and Manu Ginobili. In September he led Slovenia to the European Championship and followed that up by winning Euroleague MVP and Finals MVP in leading Real Madrid to victory in the Euroleague Final Four.
Needless to say, many teams are enamored with Doncic and according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Lakers are one of those teams.
However, they don’t seem to be looking to make trade into the top-5 of the draft:
The Lakers have been rumored to be high on him, which makes sense considering his potential fit alongside Lonzo Ball, but they don’t appear to be positioning themselves to trade for a top-five pick.
Doncic would undoubtedly be a great fit for the Lakers with his ability to play both on and off the ball, shoot, and create shots for both himself and others.
Additionally, he would be surrounded by players like Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart who would help to make up for his potential defensive shortcomings, which is his biggest concern.
Unfortunately, the Lakers are not well-positioned to make that kind of a leap in the draft. Without a top-10 pick themselves, moving into the top-5 would require them to deal one of their top young pieces like Ingram or Kyle Kuzma and probably a future first-rounder as well.
The Lakers could look to move up for someone in the draft, but unless he takes a huge, unforseen fall, getting Doncic just isn’t in the cards for the Lakers.
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