Lakers Trade Rumors: Rounding Up Top Buzz Entering 2016 NBA Draft Lottery

The 2016 NBA draft lottery is all set for Tuesday night. Representatives from 14 teams will be on hand as they watch league commissioner Adam Silver and a few pingpong balls determine the draft order.

Instead of a current player or former franchise great, the Los Angeles Lakers will have general manager Mitch Kupchak on stage waiting to see what fate befalls the Purple and Gold. It's perhaps telling that Kupchak will be right in the thick of things, because if the trade rumors from the past couple of weeks are any indication, he could be a busy man once the draft order is set. 

After finishing with the league's second-worst record in the 2015-16 season—they went 17-65 to be exact, with the Philadelphia 76ers taking top (dis)honors with a 10-72 mark—the Lakers have some of the best odds for securing a top pick. 

Those are some good odds, but it still leaves the Lakers with a 44.2 percent chance of falling outside the top three, which would unfortunately send their pick to the 76ers as a haunting vestige of the Steve Nash trade.

Of course, if the Lakers end up with a top-three pick, they may end up relinquishing it by choice. ESPN Insider's Chad Ford wrote on Sunday the Lakers could be in for a trade if they don't get in the top two: 
"Multiple sources said at the combine this week that they expect the pick to be in play if it's No. 3—with the Lakers looking for a young veteran in return."

This suggests that the Lakers would be happy to snag either LSU's Ben Simmons or Duke's Brandon Ingram, who are the best talents available and go 1-2 in seemingly every mock draft, but perhaps can't see themselves getting the right player at No. 3.

Ford thinks the Lakers should draft forward/center Dragan Bender if they keep the third pick, although he does note the Croatian 7-footer "is intriguing but a project." 

The Lakers may not be interested in a l...

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