There aren’t many occasions where you hear the Los Angeles Lakers and draft lottery in the same sentence. The Lakers are struggling and it’s driving Kobe Bryant crazy. All Kobe wants to do is win one more championship before he retires. With plenty of cash, the Lakers will be spending big this offseason. The Lakers are in a tough spot in the draft. If the lottery puts the Lakers outside of the top five, their pick goes to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return they own the Houston Rockets a first-round draft pick which is projected to be in the end of the first round. The Lakers will be looking for a point guard, small forward, and center via draft or free agency. Lets look at who could be a Los Angeles Laker next season:
It is becoming clear that Rajon Rondo will not be returning to the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers have money and Rondo is playing in whichever city pays him the most. Rondo has a fiery attitude just like Kobe Bryant. He loves to win and is always in problems with teams once they start losing. Kobe wants to play with Rajon Rondo and his NBA career is almost over. If Kobe wants a ring, he needs a true point guard.
Kevin Love is from Los Angeles, went to UCLA, and is a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kevin Love’s future is going to be questioned in every playoff series. If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the title Kevin Love will stay in Cleveland. If not, he will leave. If he is a Laker, Julius Randle will transition to the five. He has improved his three point shot throughout his career. If he leaves Cleveland, I don’t see him going anywhere but the Lakers.
Greg Monroe has been an absolute beast this season. He is averaging 16 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He can play the four and the five. He is only 24 so him and Julius Randle will be there for a long time. His defense has been judged his while career and is improving down low. His current injury shouldn’t hurt his value on the free agent market. If the Lakers can’t find a five via the draft, expect the Lakers to be on the phone with Monroe’s agent.
Since the Lakers will be expecting a pick between 3-5 and have a hole at point guard, Mudiay is the perfect fit. He is fast, athletic, and best true point guard in this draft class. He can drive the lane, pick up the speed and control a Lakers offense which has struggled this season. He needs to improve his shooting but his first season he would be playing next to Kobe Bryant. A jump shot will turn him into a star.
Jahlil is the dream pick. If the Lakers get lucky and land the #1 pick Jahlil would fill a huge hole down low. Jahlil is at his best when the offense runs through him. With an inept offense in Los Angeles, they would have no problem running the offense through him. His low post skills are immaculate but needs to work on his defense. Jahlil is a face of the franchise the Lakers will need after the departure of Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers second pick in the first round is projected to be later in the first round because it’s from the Houston Rockets. Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. His game vastly improved over his two seasons in Arizona. He scored 80 more points, 16 more steals, 45 more rebounds, and improved his free throw, three point, and field goal percentages. He adds much needed depth at small forward.
NBA seasons aren’t the same when the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the irrelevant teams. The Lakers have a history of success and have historically had a good team on the court. Kobe Bryant has to be a recruiter. Last season he did a poor job recruiting Carmelo Anthony and he re-signed with the New York Knicks. The Lakers are praying for a top five pick. The Lakers will spend this offseason working to enter NBA relevancy.