Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE through Getty Pictures
All indicators level towards the Los Angeles Lakers conserving the No. 17 choose within the 2023 NBA Draft, and that’s precisely what they need to do.
That is the place the group is leaning, in keeping with Jovan Buha of The Athletic, however there’s a caveat that complicates the rumor. Buha wrote that the group is unlikely to make a commerce, however that the “proper commerce” might change that.
Whereas that could possibly be labeled as an ambiguous draft technique, it leaves the choice on the desk. It’s a honest risk, because the group is coming off of a Western Convention finals look and has another season left on LeBron James’ contract. If James returns as deliberate, the group is poised for an additional deep run, and it’s justifiable to wish to add a bit like Myles Turner or Kyrie Irving.
Nonetheless, it’s a technique that’s doomed to fail. Common supervisor Rob Pelinka has showcased his want to maintain and develop a core that features Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura. Each gamers are 25 years outdated and creating them alongside different younger expertise ought to be a serious precedence.
Grabbing one other established sidekick for James and Anthony Davis has been tried earlier than, together with the likes of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley, and making a further transfer like this appears like a lateral transfer.
One other concern is James himself. His contract is ready to run out after subsequent season, and he has listed his want to play together with his son Bronny. Whereas this might not be a assure anymore, it’s nonetheless a really possible risk. Whereas it has been speculated that Bronny could possibly be a top-10 choose within the 2024 draft, the probabilities of the Lakers snatching him up are slim.
To usher in a participant like Turner or Irving, it’s possible that extra than simply the seventeenth total choose could be wanted. That would imply parting with Reaves, Hachimura and others, and decimating a promising core just isn’t a terrific outlook for the long run.
Plus, the Lakers haven’t used one among its personal first spherical picks since 2018, and haven’t had a non-lottery choose within the teenagers since 2007. This, mixed with a highly-touted scouting division, implies that the Lakers might make a terrific choose at 17.