After a roller coaster evening, the Los Angeles Lakers somehow jumped up seven spots in the NBA Draft Lottery and come away owning the fourth overall pick. With the drastic jump up, the Lakers are now forced to reevaluate their options as they entered with the 11th best lottery odds and looking at an entirely different tier of players.
While the chance the pick ends up traded to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis is relatively high, who could the Lakers take if they decide to hang onto their pick?
Lakers NBA Draft: Darius Garland Headlines 3 Targets With No. 4 Pick
One of the top options for the Lakers at four is Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland. Garland is coming off an injury but showed enough when healthy to warrant a top-five pick. A smooth combo guard who could contribute positive minutes off the bench immediately, Garland has the potential to develop into one of the league’s best guards.
While he lacks ideal athleticism, pairing him long-term in a backcourt with Lonzo Ball could help alleviate some of those deficiencies and allow him to do what he does best, shoot the deep ball. The Lakers are in desperate need of a floor-spacing weapon and Garland can contribute in that category right away. In fact, if Garland starts knocking down shots early on, don’t be shocked to see him crack the starting lineup early and often.
Lakers NBA Draft: Jarrett Culver and RJ Barrett Among Other Options
While Garland is a great fit based off his three-point shooting, there are other options that the Lakers could entertain with the fourth overall pick. A slightly bigger and more athletic natural shooting guard, Jarrett Culver, should still be on the board at four. While not as prolific as a three-point shooter compared to Garland, Culver projects to have a bit higher ceiling on the defensive side of the ball.
In the event that RJ Barrett somehow falls past New York at three, he might be a fantastic fit for the Lakers. As a long playmaker who can score from all three levels, Barrett could potentially slide in as a shooting guard alongside LeBron at small forward. While Barrett is a forward by trade, he has the skill set of a guard and could be extremely effective as a tertiary playmaker and spot up shooter. Although the scenario in which Barrett falls to the Lakers is unlikely, they would be hard pressed to pass up the Duke scoring machine.