Entering the 2020 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers do not hold a draft pick, but they did not have a pick entering last season’s draft and ended up with Talen Horton-Tucker.
Going into this week the Los Angeles Lakers held on to the 28th pick in the upcoming NBA draft on Thursday, but they made a deal that sent that pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder and brought back the league’s sixth man of the year runner-up Dennis Schröder.
But in the past, the Lakers have proven that they will buy into the second round to take a prospect that they deem worthy, especially if they do not hold a first-round pick. This draft could be no different because the Lakers could use an injection of youth added to a roster that was the second oldest team in the league last season.
Even though the Lakers won the championship last season, a lot of their problems were covered up by their two All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The ideal draft candidate should be experienced enough to help a team poised to defend their title, but should have some upside to be a building block towards the post-LeBron James future as well.
Beyond Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, and THT, there are not many players that the Lakers have either drafted or groomed on their G League squad. That is why if there is an opportunity to grab one of these players by buying into the second round, then they should find a way to get a card with their logo up to the podium.
Before the Schröder trade, the guard position might have been the Lakers’ biggest draft need, and they still might look to draft a point or two-guard to help fill out the rotation.
Center is also a position that could be something the Lakers look to find a backup considering Javale McGee and Dwight Howard are on the tail end of their careers. They could also use a versatile wing defender that can hit a shot if called upon, to help create more depth at the small forward position.
The Lakers have recently had success drafting the second round. In the past half-decade, they’ve found guys like Jordan Clarkson, Thomas Bryant, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and Ivica Zubac in the second round. All of them are still currently contributing for teams in the association and that shows their scouting prowess because most second-round picks phase-out of or never make it in the league.
However, it is extremely unlikely all five of the guys on this list will be selected in the second round because their talent will most likely push them up into the first. But if one of them slips far enough, then the Lakers should spend the money to draft him.