NBA Draft 2014: Why Marcus Smart Would Be a Perfect Fit with the LA Lakers

For a Los Angeles Lakers organization and fan base used to postseason success, the 2014 NBA draft highlights a harsh but undeniable reality: The team is in rebuilding mode.

The process is set to begin with the NBA draft on June 26. There will be several exciting players available in this year's draft, including Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum and Jabari Parker. However, according to Bleacher Report's Matt Fitzgerald, these players are all likely to be gone by the time Los Angeles is on the clock with the seventh overall pick.

But this doesn't mean that the Lakers can't still select the player that's the best fit for the team. There is a very good possibility they will find Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart still available. If he is, the team shouldn't hesitate to select their point guard of the future.

As Ehran Khan of Bleacher Report points out, there will be several other intriguing options for the Lakers at seventh overall, including Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle. Some have also added Embiid to this list, as it's now possible that he drops out of the the top five, but this is only because of the surgery he had on Friday due to a recently discovered stress fracture in his foot. Even if he is available, it would be too risky for the Lakers to gamble on a player that has already shown to be injury-prone.

The 6'3", 227-pound Smart remains the Lakers' best option.

The Orange County Register's Bill Oram points out that Los Angeles will have only three players under contract as of the start of free agency on July 1: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. This group is nothing to be excited about. Bryant is at the end of his career and coming off another major injury, Nash is no longer a starting-caliber point guard and Sacre is a willing, but limited, big man that is best coming off the bench.

The truth is that the Lakers have more needs than can be addressed in a single pi...

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