After a turn of unlikely events, the Lakers jumped from the projected 11th spot to the 4th spot in the NBA Lottery. After all the dysfunctional news that has been coming out about the front office, it’s refreshing to hear about the Lakers in a good manner.
Would it have been nice to get the 1st pick and get Zion Williamson? Yes it would have, but I am still ecstatic about the Lakers position at their current state.
Staying put at the 11 spot would have been fine. I’m sure most Laker fans were expecting to stay the 11 spot because of the unlikelihood of moving into the Top 4. But what’s happened has happened and now the Lakers have many doors to walk through in terms of the direction they want go through with this pick.
Use The Pick In a Anthony Davis Trade
Yes, this is obviously going to be brought up throughout the summer until something happens with Davis. The Lakers moving up to the 4th pick can actually be really enticing for the Pelicans. New Orleans secured the 1st pick and most likely will pick Zion Williamson but around that range of the Lakers pick are Zion’s Duke teammates, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. The Lakers can work with the Pelicans in a possible negotiation saying they can reunite one of two with Zion Williamson along with one or two of the young guys instead of the bogus offer Magic had back at the trade deadline.
The lowest offer I can possibly think of that maybe, but very unlikely, that the Lakers could get away with is:
2019 4th Pick
2 Future First Round Picks
1 Future Second Round Pick
Obviously the Pelicans can ask for more. The Knicks can come in with an offer the involves their 3rd pick, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, Mitchell Robinson and whoever else. From their on, the Lakers may get themselves into a bidding war where they have to offer Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, or Josh Hart. Obviously Magic Johnson didn’t think logically back then when he offered half the roster but since Rob Pelinka, who I still don’t trust, is I guess more methodical about this won’t outbid himself.
Now do I think the Lakers should trade the pick? No. Brian Windhorst of ESPN has already stated the Pelicans aren’t going to do business with the Lakers and they are trying to keep Davis away from the Pelicans. So as of now, the Davis option may not even be an option.
Keep The Pick
There are a variety of options that the Lakers already have right in front of them and more that could open up if the Knicks or Grizzlies do something we don’t expect them to do, or who knows, the Pelicans may just skip over Zion. Whatever the case may be, the Lakers have players to choose from and having more options is better.
The likely top 3 players in this draft as of right now are Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett. So let’s say they are off the board. There is a drop off after Zion, and another drop off after Morant and Barrett, but the players after that can still contribute on the Lakers. Darius Garland is a quick player that can be the perfect player next to Lonzo Ball. Deandre Hunter, is a 6’7 wing who can come off the bench and be a solid 3 and D player. Jarrett Culver is also an option for the team as well. I haven’t gotten to deep into the draft process yet and let alone expecting to be picking players that are this high on the board so my knowledge of these players is very little.
The Lakers have options. A lot of options if they keep the pick.
Trading down isn’t as common in the NBA as it is in the NFL. But the Lakers are said to be connected to a team that has two picks in the top 10, which would be the Atlanta Hawks as they are said to be interested in Jarrett Culver. The Lakers can possibly do a trade down with them by sending the 4th pick in exchange for their 8th and 10th pick.
2019 8th Pick
2019 10th Pick
2019 4th Pick
The Lakers would have to trade the 4 pick along with Moe and Isaac if they do want to keep their aspirations of signing a Kawhi/Kyrie type free agent this summer.
All in all, we should be incredibly thankful that the Lakers were able to secure the number 4 pick. This opens up many options for the summer. If you asked me, which I would prefer, I’d prefer the Lakers to keep their pick and do what you can with that.