The Lakers were a little unlucky in the NBA Draft Lottery, falling to the seventh pick. With the team looking for a quick rebuild, the Lakers were hoping to sneak into the top-three to secure one of the prized prospects in this draft.
Since the lottery results, there have been numerous rumors surrounding the possibility of the team trading the pick for multiple picks and/or immediate veteran help. That no longer seems to be the case according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
Whether the Lakers end up picking Smart, Randle, or somebody else, the team is leaning towards keeping their No. 7 pick rather than trading down in order to acquire multiple picks, according to a source with knowledge of their thinking.
This is by no means a guarantee as the Lakers are surely keeping their options open, but it does seem to suggest that if there was a trade, it would be for a veteran and a pick as opposed to just multiple picks.
The Lakers are looking for immediate help and there are two players who could give them that at the seventh pick in Julius Randle and Marcus Smart. At least one of the two is likely to be available when the Lakers select and either could step in and contribute immediately.
The chances of the Lakers getting someone of that caliber in the middle of the round is far less likely, at least in the short term. With the Lakers unlikely to get someone the caliber of Kevin Love, it makes the most sense to keep the pick and bring in a young talent.
Lakers Nation Interviews Julius Randle After Lakers Pre-Draft Workouts