3 players in the NBA Finals who definitely should have been Lakers

Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Five
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Five / David Berding/GettyImages
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The Lakers could have drafted Jayson Tatum in the 2017 NBA Draft

The biggest storyline from the 2017 NBA Draft is the heist that the Boston Celtics pulled over the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston picked up an extra first-round pick by moving down from the first overall pick to the third pick, getting the better player (and the guy they wanted all along) in Jayson Tatum.

What gets lost in this storyline is the team that picked between the 76ers and the Celtics. The Lakers had the second overall pick in the draft and opted to replace the recently traded D'Angelo Russell by drafting UCLA's Lonzo Ball.

This felt like the right decision at the time and anyone being overly critically of the Lakers for this decision is only doing so with the benefit of hindsight. That doesn't make it any less painful, though, as Tatum is a self-admitted Lakers fan who could have extended this championship window with LeBron.

But that raises an interesting question: if the Lakers drafted Tatum would they have just shipped him to New Orleans to trade for Anthony Davis? Lonzo was traded as part of the AD deal and in theory, Tatum would simply replace Ball in that trade package.

While that may have ended up being the reality, there is also a world in which the Lakers traded Kyle Kuzma instead of Tatum, giving the team a big three of LeBron, Tatum and AD that probably would have won more than one championship.

But alas, it was not meant to be. That does not mean that the Tatum ship has completely sailed, though, as he could be a future target for the Lakers in free agency.