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Due to the Anthony Davis trade in the summer of 2019, the Los Angeles Lakers will not have a pick in next month’s NBA draft.
However, that doesn’t mean they will remain idle in that department.
A few weeks ago, the team worked out several draft prospects, and more recently, general manager Rob Pelinka was seen at the NBA Combine.
The Lakers are reportedly looking to buy a pick in the second round of the draft.
Via The Athletic:
“We were critical of the Lakers’ decision to not pay a team cash to take DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline, but it may pay off at the draft. L.A. has been open about using its remaining cash stash (the Lakers can put $4.7 million into a trade between now and July 1) to buy its way into the second round, where the Lakers currently do not have a pick. The Lakers’ scouting department has built up an impressive track record of finding sleepers late in the draft, so it will be interesting to see who they might target.”
This year’s NBA draft is considered top-heavy and not very deep, but there still could be a few gems later on, and perhaps one of them will fall into the lap of the Lakers.
The Lakers have had success finding gems in the second round of the draft
Over the last several years, L.A. has found a number of solid players very deep in the draft.
The most recent example is guard Talen Horton-Tucker, who was the 46th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.
The Lakers sent cash and a future second-round pick to Orlando to obtain the rights to Horton-Tucker.
In 2016, they took center Ivica Zubac with the 32nd pick. Although it took a while for him to develop, he is now a very solid backup center, albeit with the Los Angeles Clippers.
But perhaps the best example yet of the Lakers’ success with second-round picks is Jordan Clarkson. The Washington Wizards selected him with the 46th pick in the 2014 draft, then sent him to L.A. for cash.
He instantly became a solid scorer as a rookie, making the All-Rookie first team, and last year he was named the Sixth Man of the Year.