Up until this past February, the Los Angeles Lakers were facing a reality of not having a first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. It was the final remnants of an ill-fated trade for Steve Nash, which along with acquiring Dwight Howard, was expected to propel the team to championship.
But Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka changed the franchise’s fortunes at this season’s trade deadline when they acquired the No. 25 overall pick in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the trade was heralded for the salary the Lakers managed to shed, Johnson and Pelinka were sure to highlight the acquired draft pick when publicly discussing the deal.
Now on the eve of the 2018 Draft, the Lakers have added another pick to their arsenal, by trading for the 39th overall selection from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Lakers have acquired the 39th pick in Thursday’s Draft from the 76ers, league source tells ESPN. Lakers will send Philly its 2019 second round pick via Bulls and cash.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 21, 2018
As it stands, Los Angeles is armed with the 25th, 39th and 47th picks in Thursday’s draft. The lottery results in May netted the 76ers the 10th overall pick from the Lakers.
With another asset in the fold, the Lakers are in position to head down a multitude of routes. There have been rumblings the team is interested in trading up in the Draft, with Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith among those they’re reportedly intrigued by.
Or, Johnson and Pelinka could use the draft pick in a trade package, perhaps for Kawhi Leonard, who reportedly wants out from San Antonio.
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