Now more than ever the Lakers need cost-controlled players. With the roster stripped to the bones in order to trade for Anthony Davis and trying to squeeze the most out of the remaining cap space, moving back into the second round of the NBA Draft makes sense for the Los Angeles Lakers.
By drafting a player and holding off on signing him until after free agency, they can maximize their available cap space on the open market while ensuring they have warm bodies to fill out the bottom of the roster. A number of teams hold multiple second round picks this summer and with second-round picks being available to be traded for cash considerations, there are quite a few targets the Lakers could look to purchase one with.
Lakers NBA Draft: Celtics Among 3 Possible Trade Partners
Option 1 – Boston Celtics
With three mid-late first round picks already in their possession, the Celtics probably aren’t dying to hang onto that second round pick. While Ainge might be a bit salty dealing with the Lakers after losing out on Anthony Davis, the Celtics need to look to the future and getting some useful future cash/assets in addition to their three first rounders might be a more appealing option moving forward.
Option 2 – Atlanta Hawks
After trading the 44th pick in the draft earlier today, the Atlanta Hawks are still loaded on draft picks and could be in the market to move another second rounder. The Hawks have been vocal that they don’t want as many rookies on the roster as they have draft picks – an interesting bit seeing as they still hold the rights to five different draft picks.
Compared to the Celtics, the Hawks pick should be a bit pricier to come by as their remaining two second-round picks both sit in the top half of the round.
Option 3 – Sacramento Kings
Similar to the Hawks, the Sacramento Kings are an already young/exciting team with a boatload of draft picks. While they don’t hold a first rounder, they have three second-round picks and are a team on the cusp of competing in the loaded Western Conference.
As a result, the Kings might be more inclined to sell off one of those picks in order to free up money that can be used to help add a bit more of a veteran presence on the roster. With the exciting young core in place, the Kings don’t necessarily need more young talent and ideally need competent and experienced rotational pieces to complement their youth movement.