Report: Lakers Leaning Toward Keeping No. 7 Draft Pick Rather Than Trading Down

Good news for anyone hoping the Los Angeles Lakers import some young talent via the No. 7 overall selection in this summer's draft.

According to's Dave McMenamin, it doesn't look like that pick is going anywhere.

"Whether the Lakers end up picking Smart, Randle, or somebody else, the team is leaning towards keeping their No. 7 pick rather than trading down in order to acquire multiple picks, according to a source with knowledge of their thinking," he reported on Wednesday.

McMenamin explains the organization's logic:

While it’s widely believed that there is a gap in the talent available after Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker go off the board, the Lakers feel there is another gap between the player they have rated 10th versus who they have at 11th and below, so it’s not like they could flip their pick for say Phoenix’s No. 14 and No. 18 picks and still come out in with a player they are totally sold on.

Besides, as Bleacher Report's Dan Favale points out, some pretty good talent has gone seventh in the draft:

Selecting seventh gives [the Lakers] more than enough opportunity to land someone special. History is littered with success stories from those picked seventh. Ask Stephen Curry. Or Luol Deng. Greg Monroe will tell you too, as will many others. 

The organization can't trade its pick outright for a veteran because it's already dealt its 2013 and 2015 first-round picks. Per league rules, teams aren't allowed to trade away consecutive first-round selections.

That means any deal Los Angeles makes with its No. 7 pick would have to happen following to the selection itself.

Still, the team has some options—including some exceptional talent that could fall to No. 7. USA Today's Adi Joseph outlines Los Angeles' potential...

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