As it stands the Lakers are slated to make the 60th and final selection of the 2012 NBA Draft. Not exactly prime position but it’s not a total crap shoot either. Finding value in the NBA Draft is much different beast when compared to doing the same in the NFL or MLB drafts. Just the number of rounds and draft picks alone makes finding a diamond in the rough in the world of football an inevitability.
Not so much in basketball.
Sure, you’ll get your occasional second round All-Star or undrafted role player. Usually the way you’d define “value” in the NBA Draft is getting a potential lottery player late in the first round. Beyond that it’s an invite to camp and the hope someone will pan out.
Now there is some history to picking dead last in the draft. The San Antonio Spurs and their astounding scouting department unearthed Manu Ginobili with the second to last pick of the ’99 draft. Just last year the Sacramento Kings grabbed Isaiah Thomas out of the University of Washington with the last pick of the 2011 draft.
Of course those are the few exceptions. For the most part players picked in the second round are longshots at having an NBA career. Players picked late in the second round are lucky to be active at all even if they make the roster.
With a long list of needs, few options in free agency and even fewer in the trade department the Lakers could certainly stand to move up in the draft. Jim Buss, in all his delusional glory, said last week that the Lake Show is looking to move into the first round. How that is going to happen is a mystery when you consider Buss’ statement on “not making major moves”.
What is even more disconcerting is that the Lakers traded away two first round picks to acquire Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill both of whom might not even be with the team next season.
In the past it wasn’t a huge concern for the Lakers to be frozen out of the first round. When you’re contending for the tile late-round rookies tend to get in the way. These days the Lakers need to find talent any way they can.
NBADraft.net has Iona point guard Scott Machado pegged as the Lakers pick. Whether or not he’s around when L.A. is on the clock or if he’s even on Mitch Kupchak’s board remains to be seen. That’s all a guessing game.
What we know for a fact is the Lakers haven’t done much developing of talent over the last decade. Very few of the players currently on the roster or that were major contributors on the recent championship teams were drafted and developed by the Lakers. Andrew Bynum notwithstanding almost none of the Lakers’ draftees have panned out to be much more than lower level role players. So it stands to reason that even with a first round pick this franchise might not find the help it’s looking for. But it would sure beat scraping the bottom of the barrel for extreme value.