LSL Mid-Season Roundtable: Changing of a Mindset

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What draft pick will the Lakers finish with?

Booth – I should preface my prediction by admitting that I have never closely followed the draft, nor do I have a firm grasp on the workings of it. I do know after some goggling, that the Lakers do indeed own a first round pick this year. If they’re free-fall continues, they are very likely looking at a top 10 pick. I picked them in the pre-season to finish with the 7th seed in the west, so I’ll take the easy way out, and flip that position to draft order, giving them the #7 pick. I still will not rule out a draft day trade.

Jan 5, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots the ball as San Diego State Aztecs forward Josh Davis (22) defends during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. San Diego State won 61 – 57. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia – I’m going to guess the Lakers end up at #7 in the draft.  If that’s the case, the names I want to see mentioned as Laker players are Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, or even Rodney Hood.  I perceive Aaron Gordon as Blake Griffin-lite, with a more comfortable dribble from the high-post and a more polished jumpshot from 20′ out.  He doesn’t have Griffin’s strength yet, but he does have Griffin’s explosiveness, even if he hasn’t really displayed it for Arizona.  Noah Vonleh is a power forward with surprising guard-like skills to handle the ball in transition, show range up to 20′, or operate in the mid-to-high post with great pivot footwork and spin moves.  He also has the best wingspan in the draft outside of Joel Embiid at 7’4″.  Rodney Hood may be considered a reach at #7, but, he is an ultra-aggressive scorer relentlessly attacking the basket with a polished midrange game and 3-point stroke.  He’s shooting 54% from the field and 48% behind the arc.  He’s a great athlete, a notch below Wiggins but on par with Jabari Parker.  He’s underrated for his potential on defense with his 6’8.5″ wingspan, but moves his feet well.

Hicks – I think the Lakers get a top 3 pick. Conspiracy theorists will howl at the moon, but they can go jump off a bridge. The NBA has screwed the Lakers over the last few seasons with the Paul trade fiasco and the CBA. The Lakers are due a big break. If that miracle doesn’t happen, then they’ll pick 6th or 7th. As long as they end up with Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, or Aaron Gordon they’ll be fine.

Morales – The lottery bound Lakers will end up with the 4th pick but the pick is not as important as who they pick. I am not sold on the front office as talent evaluators. In 1993-94 they won 33 games. They had pick # 10 and selected Eddie Jones. They traded for Cedric Ceballos and the next year won 48 games. But that was on Jerry West’s watch. After two busts in coaching hires do you trust Jim Buss?

Rude – Wouldn’t it be glorious if the Lakers ended up with a top 4 pick? That’d guarantee them a likely franchise-changing player. Still, any pick in the top 7 would greatly improve the Lakers immediately. As I write, the Lakers are slotted with the 10th pick in the draft, but I think they move closer to the #1 spot. With some lottery luck, I say the Lakers finish with the 3rd pick and draft Andrew Wiggins.