5 Available players Lakers should trade up for in second round of 2024 NBA Draft

Somehow, some of the best prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft are still on the board after Round 1. Who should the Los Angeles Lakers consider trading up for?
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The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft is officially in the books! The Los Angeles Lakers made their mark by selecting SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht at No. 17 overall, making way for a clearer vision heading into an unmistakably valuable second round.

With the ambition to improve as alive as ever, the opportunity to land a high-level player in an unexpected spot should continue to intrigue the Lakers at No. 55 overall.

The second round of the NBA Draft has produced a long list of high-level active players. Since 2020, that group includes the likes of Jaden Hardy, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Isaiah Joe, Herb Jones, Miles McBride, Sam Merrill, Andrew Newmbhard, and Aaron Wiggins.

Push the search back by just a few seasons and the likes of Malcolm Brogdon, Bruce Brown, Nic Claxton, Daniel Gafford, De’Anthony Melton, Mitchell Robinson, and Gary Trent Jr. put the value of a second-round draft pick into perspective.

Beyond the quality contributors are an even more impressive list of stars who teams would do anything to acquire. That includes Jalen Brunson, Draymond Green, Nikola Jokic, and Khris Middleton.

With this in mind, the question is simple: Which deep sleepers are still available entering the second day of the 2024 NBA Draft?

Adem Bona, UCLA Bruins

The Lakers are reportedly committing to helping Anthony Davis play fewer minutes at center. The immediate method of altering Davis' positional alignment will likely come through free agency, but that doesn't mean a long-term answer should be ignored in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Adem Bona is a relatively raw player, but there's an absence of hyperbole in saying that he's one of the most impressive athletes in this class.

Bona measured at 6'8.25 and 243 pounds with a near 7'4" wingspan at the 2024 NBA Draft Combine. He then tested like a wing in strength and agility drills, including a stunning 40.0" max vertical leap.

The lack of offensive refinement is what kept him out of the first round, but there's genuinely elite potential to be explored on the defensive end of the floor.

Bona needs to improve as a rebounder, but he's an active and intense defensive playmaker. He averaged 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals in just 26.5 minutes per game, which translates to 2.7 blocks and 1.7 steals per 40 minutes—accurate reflections of what he's capable of on defense.

Bona is limited to throwing down lobs and working off of the pick and roll, but his defensive potential is profound and could make him an ideal complement to Davis.