Lakers 2024 NBA Mock Draft: Projecting Los Angeles' picks if New Orleans defers

What if the Los Angeles Lakers keep their first-round selection at the 2024 NBA Draft? That question is answered in the latest Lakers exclusive mock draft.
Dayton v Arizona
Dayton v Arizona / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
1 of 4

As a result of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Pelicans own the rights to L.A.'s 2024 first-round draft pick. New Orleans reserves the right to defer the claim of Los Angeles' selection to 2025, however, and rumors are swirling that the Pelicans intend to.

In the event that New Orleans opts to wait until 2025 to claim to Los Angeles' first-round draft pick, Rob Pelinka must cash in on the opportunity to add two quality young players to the roster.

Operation within the outlined scenario, the Lakers would have the No. 17 and No. 55 overall selections in the 2024 NBA Draft. For perspective on how valuable those picks could be, active players drafted at No. 17 overall include Donte DiVincenzo, Jrue Holiday, and Trey Murphy III.

While it's certainly more difficult to identify quality players in the second round, Patty Mills and Aaron Wiggins are among the active players who were drafted at No. 55.

In 2024, the lack of star power in the NBA Draft could ultimately work in the Lakers' favor. These are often the classes that end up being the most deceptively deep, as the absence of an obvious franchise player results in reaches that leave potential starting-caliber players to the lower picks.

For the Lakers, the 17th overall selection could provide the opportunity to land a big and versatile forward who could ultimately become a starter in the NBA.

Round 1, Pick 17: Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado Buffaloes

While not the most explosive athlete, Tristan Da Silva is a versatile player who could make an immediate impact in the NBA. Standing at 6’8”, the hybrid forward has the size and offensive skill set to contribute in multiple phases of the game, with a specific skill that should help him carve out a role.

Buyer beware of the versatile prospects who can’t find their niche, but this borderline knockdown shooter doesn’t fall into that dangerous category.

Da Silva, 23, measured at 6'8.25" without shoes and 217 pounds with a 6'10.25" wingspan. He lacks the quick-twitch athleticism that some might be looking for at the forward positions, but his size, versatile skill set, and shooting ability make him a compelling fit for the Lakers.

That begins with the fact that da Silva shot at least 37.3 percent from beyond the arc in each of his final three seasons at Colorado.

A testament to the work ethic that makes da Silva a success story is the fact that he improved his three-point field goal percentage across each of his collegiate seasons. He also went from making just 58.3 percent of his free throws as a freshman to 83.5 percent as a senior.

A capable ball-handler who has the length to defend and the shooting ability to contribute early, da Silva is a player who could fit the short-term and long-term vision in Los Angeles.