Let’s play a game of what if. What if the Lakers could draft anyone they wanted. Who would be the best fit for them and why? The current Lakers season has collapsed under the weight of injuries and a roster low on top quality talent. The lottery appears certain. With the way the Lakers’ have played in the last 15 games, a top 5 pick looks possible. In most seasons, the draft thins out considerably after the top 5 picks, leaving most teams with role player types and fringe NBA players.
The 2014 Draft is supposed to be different.
Even though we have no idea where the Lakers will be drafting, we can look at the players that could most help return the Lakers to its former perch as an elite franchise. During a season seemingly devoid of any relevance, looking to the future, and the Laker’s next Franchise star, is a way to make the losing feel worth it in the end.
Here are the best fits for the Lakers in the 2014 Draft
Parker is a no brainer. The do everything forward has the game and the size to play numerous positions in a Mike D’Antoni offense. He also has the media savvy to own the Los Angeles market.The new face of the Lakers must be good enough to live up to the comparisons of those hanging in the rafters and must embrace celebrity. Parker is good enough to take over the franchise right now.He handles the spotlight gracefully. The Jazz are salivating at the thought of a once in a lifetime Mormon superstar landing in Utah. A Kobe Bryant-Jabari Parker pairing could extend Bryant’s career even further with enough time to win a 6th championship.
2. Dante Exum
Dante Exum should be the Lakers’ pick. A 6’6″ combo guard with a 6’9″ wingspan, Exum is a cross between Tony Parker and Michael Carter Williams. He outplayed Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Jabari Parker at the 2013 Hoops Summit. He has an unstoppable first step, passes, defends, and rebounds well. The fact that American audiences have rarely seen him play is why he is not in the discussion as the no.1 overall pick. Exum would be the perfect backcourt compliment alongside Bryant. His jump shot and foul shooting are problematic at this stage, but that is typical of young players. Like Bryant, Exum is the son of an American basketball player who played overseas. He should remind Mitch Kupchak of that other gangly 6’6″ guard that entered the NBA as a teenager.
3. Aaron Gordon
Gordon doesn’t have a pretty game. He just plays hard and does a little bit of everything. Gordon is a high flyer with raw perimeter skills. He could be a bigger and more physical Shawn Marion or Kenyon Martin in New Jersey type. His competitiveness and high motor is a match for the expectations of the Lakers franchise and its fans.Everywhere Gordon goes he wins. He won the AAU championship over Andrew Wiggins, was MVP of the McDonald’s All American game, and gave Parker trouble in a head to head matchup of Arizona vs. Duke, which Arizona won. Gordon may never be an elite scorer but he will do enough things to be a winning player, with a Joakim Noah type influence on a team.