The Los Angeles Lakers have the ability to make a selection in the first round of the NBA Draft for the first time since 2018. Los Angeles has the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft with some talented prospects potentially available.
However, for the fifth draft in a row the Lakers might not end up having a first-round pick in the draft. There is becoming increasingly likely that the Lakers trade the 17th overall pick, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, with multiple players being tied to the Lakers.
Some of those players would be better than others. Some of them already seem to be out of the picture because of recent developments. Kristaps Porzingis was already traded to the Boston Celtics and Gary Trent Jr. opted into his player option with the Toronto Raptors to work on an extension.
Let’s rank the others.
Ranking the rumored Lakers trade targets for the 17th pick:
4. Dorian Finney-Smith
Dorian Finney-Smith does not make a lot of sense for the Los Angeles Lakers, especially if the team is trading the 17th overall pick for him. While Finney-Smith would add wing depth to the roster, he really would not add what this team needs next season.
Finney-Smith is not a great offensive piece and he does not have a shot to help space the floor. He is a serviceable defensive player but with Jarred Vanderbilt already providing great defense the Lakers don’t need to sacrifice offense for above-average defense. Finney-Smith is also under contract for three more seasons, which is a pro and a con. The Lakers could move him in the future but there is a world in which he struggles and is stuck in LA.
Brooklyn reportedly wants to trade up in the first round and if the Lakers are getting pick 21 (or 22) and Finney-Smith for the 17th pick and Mo Bamba it would not be a bad deal, it just would be the worst of the names mentioned.