The NBA Draft Lottery happened last night, and the Lakers drew the #2 pick which means they don’t have to give it up to the Sixers. Now that we know the Lakers get to keep their pick this year, it’s time to figure out what to do with it. There are really only two options here:
1. Draft whoever Philadelphia doesn’t draft.
The NBA Draft this year is really about two players. It’s Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram and then everybody else. There has been an ongoing debate about who should be picked number one and this debate will continue until draft night. While holding that number one pick enables you to absolutely pick the guy you want, sitting at two enables you to let the other team do the work. Philly takes Simmons; you take Ingram. Philly takes Ingram; you takes Simmons. Simple. Now you’ve got another guy to add to your young core, sign some big free agents, and go from there. The future is young and bright.
2. Trade the pick.
The beauty of landing in the top two this year goes beyond having the opportunity to draft one of the two guys who are head and shoulders above everyone else; it makes the pick very tradeable. There are tons of teams out there who could want that pick and you can probably get an established player in return. No development time, immediate impact, a sure thing. Some names being thrown around in regards to the Lakers include Pacers forward Paul George, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and a plethora of other young superstars. Will these teams actually be willing to trade these guys? Maybe yes, maybe no. But at least you have this pick to build a package around.
No matter what the Lakers decide to do with this pick, it makes this next month exciting. Rumors will be swirling and optimism will be high. This draft position coupled with a ton of money to spend could be the start of another successful run in Los Angeles.