Should the Los Angeles Lakers Trade Their No. 27 Pick In the 2015 NBA Draft?

The Los Angeles Lakers did not come away from a mostly wretched season empty-handed—they collected the Nos. 2, 27 and 34 picks in the upcoming NBA draft.

That’s not bad as far as consolation prizes go. The team could also turn to the barter system in an effort to further improve its haul.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is keeping his options open, per “We don’t know if we’re going to draft three players.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean gambling away the opportunity to nab either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor—elite big men who each possess the qualities that could make them franchise cornerstones. 

But what about that late first-round selection—No. 27? Should the Lakers trade it away?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. They should unload it in a heartbeat if it improves the team. That’s a no-brainer.

But, it’s the art of the trade that can be complicated and precarious, not the overall concept of it.


Using the pick to trade up

The Lakers have worked out scads of prospects over the last two weeks, ranging from obvious lottery picks to those who may not get chosen at all. There’s a reason for the extra-wide array—the front office wants to be prepared for all contingencies.

Among the cattle call invites have been players who potentially fall somewhere outside the lottery but may not be available when the Lakers come on the board at No. 27. Those include promising small forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson from Arizona and Justin Anderson from Virginia.

Hollis-Jefferson would bring the kind of defensive intensity that the Lakers sorely need.

“Defense is well-respected,” the 20-year-old said, per Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. “I see that being my calling card.”


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