The Lakers have long been rumored to be looking to package their 7th draft pick in hopes of bringing in another superstar like Kevin Love or even Kyrie Irving. A combination of a lack of interest and increased interest in draft prospects has led to the Lakers likely hanging onto the pick, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA.
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.
While it’s widely believed that there is a gap in the talent available after Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker go off the board, the Lakers feel there is another gap between the player they have rated 10th versus who they have at 11th and below, so it’s not like they could flip their pick for say Phoenix’s No. 14 and No. 18 picks and still come out in with a player they are totally sold on.
This is great news for Lakers fans who want to see the Lakers rebuild through the draft. With one of the deepest draft classes in years, the Lakers can grab a high-quality player with the seventh pick and have them under control for a low dollar figure for many years.
Who the Lakers are leaning toward drafting, however, is a wide open. After hosting Julius Randle for a workout earlier in the week, the Lakers will be bringing in Marcus Smart for his second workout of the off-season. With the draft nearly a week away, the time is running out for the Lakers to decide.