Analyzing LA Lakers’ Biggest Draft Needs

The Los Angeles Lakers head into the June 26 NBA draft with a number of needs but only one pick.

Their main objective: See how many of those needs they can fill with the No. 7 overall draft choice.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to find the flaws and holes in the Lakers' armor: This was an injury-prone team that played little to no defense and that was simply outmanned most of the time.

L.A.'s 27-55 mark was the worst in franchise history, probably contributing to head coach Mike D'Antoni's resignation from his job and casting a serious pall over the team and its general psyche.

As the NBA draft approaches, it would appear that Lakers management has at least eight to 10 players it considers lottery-worthy. These are players it feels have the skills and potential to address some of the team's glaring deficiencies.

The coveted—Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum—will likely be gone by the time L.A.'s turn is called.

Yet, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak believes the draft is deep enough that he would not be immune to trading down in order to get two first-round picks or a first-round and early second-round selection.

Kupchak told the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina:

We may look to get a pick some other way because we have guys we interviewed who aren't going to be gone before the second round, but they'll be around after [our current pick]. You only get so many assets in this league. Draft picks are an asset. There's cap room, draft picks and players. Those are assets you can use to rebuild a team.

The Lakers may look to either the Phoenix Suns or Chicago Bulls as trading partners. Both clubs have multiple first-round picks—all lower than the Lakers. If either believes it can snare a top lottery pick at No. 7, it could swap its picks (Phoenix at Nos. 14, 18 and 27 or Chicago at Nos. 16 and 19) with the Lakers...

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