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All signs point to LA Lakers keeping #17 Picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do.
That’s the team’s tendency, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, but there’s a caveat Rumors compounded. Teams are unlikely to make a trade, Buha wrote, but “the right trade” could change that.
While this could be flagged as an ambiguous draft strategy, it leaves options on the table right. That’s a good possibility given that the team is about to reach the Western Conference Finals and LeBron James still has one season left on his contract. If James returns as planned, the team will have another long run, and it would make sense to want to add a player like Myles Turner or Kyrie Irving.
James and Anthony Davis’ established pairings have tried it before, including Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley et al, and making extra moves like this feels like a lateral move.
Another problem is James himself. His contract expires after next season and he has listed his desire to play with his son Bronny. While this may no longer be a guarantee, it’s still a very viable possibility. While there has been speculation that Bronny could be a top-10 pick in the 2024 draft, the chances of the Lakers snatching him are slim.
It may take more than a 17th pick to bring in a player like Turner or Irving picks. That could mean parting ways with Reaves, Hachimura and others, and destroying a promising core isn’t a rosy prospect for the future.
In addition, the Lakers have not used their own first-round pick since 2018, and since 2007 There hasn’t been a non-lotter pick in the juniors since 2009. That, combined with a much-touted scouting department, means the Lakers could make an excellent pick at No. 17.