The Misconception About The Lakers Draft Picks
Lakers have traded their first-round picks for stars Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook over the years. This has left us with two remaining tradable picks with the 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. However, the media has misconstrued that these are LA's last picks in the decade.
"It's tough to make a move where you're jeopardizing future assets. We saw them do a little bit of that. They've been down that rabbithole already."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 28, 2022
Shams Charania on the Lakers' having only 2 first round picks the next 7 years 🗣
This is far from the truth, as the Lakers have a majority of their draft picks. They hold their first-round pick this year, but the Pelicans have the right to swap with them. This means if New Orleans finishes with a better record, they can swap with Los Angeles in order to get a higher pick. As of now, the Pelicans would most certainly swap and take the Lakers' pick at 12, while LA would get the New Orleans’ pick at 23.
In 2024, the Pelicans have the rights to LA’s pick, but they could defer to the 2025 draft. This means the Lakers will have one of their first-round picks in either 2024 or 2025.
After that, Los Angeles has all of their first-round picks from the 2026 season and beyond.
Despite what the media construes as the front office being completely drained of their first-round picks, it’s not true. The Lakers can only trade their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders, but they still have most of their first-round picks, which they can use to build a young core.
One thing that the front office has gotten right is their scouting. They have drafted exceptionally well, whether it’s been in the lottery or a late pick.
Kyle Kuzma is quietly having a near all-star caliber season:— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) January 2, 2023
47% fg/ 35% 3pt pic.twitter.com/MJR6NAAMzW
Notable lottery picks in recent years include Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. What’s been more impressive is their ability to hit on late first-rounders and second-rounders, with players like Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr, Ivica Zubac, Kyle Kuzma, Mortiz Wagner, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Max Christie.
The scouting team has also done a great job with g-league players and undrafted free agents, with Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves.
Los Angeles has lost most of these players, as they have been traded or lost in free agency. These guys are key contributors for their respective teams, and the Lakers could use players like that.
With a majority of their draft picks for the future, the front office can build a strong young core once again, making the Lakers future bright.
Parting with two first-round picks to compete now wouldn't jeopardize the future. Amid a five-game win streak, LeBron expressed his frustration when pressed for an answer about the front office's lack of moves. LeBron exclaimed, “Y’all know what the f— should be happening."
LeBron responds to The Athletic’s report of him being frustrated with the Lakers front office 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/O1km9F4DRR— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 8, 2023
He clarified his comments in a tweet this morning.
With all this in mind, should the Lakers part with two picks to make a win-now move?