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2014 NBA Draft Preview: L.A. Lakers

Jun 19, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT

James Worthy James Worthy

Picks: 7

Needs: Considering the fact that the Lakers have just three players signed to guaranteed contracts for next season in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre, there are glaring needs at virtually every position. They will take the best remaining talent available once it’s their turn on the clock, and whether it’s a guard, wing or big man, whoever it is should be someone who can be a solid, productive NBA player for many seasons to come.

Trade possibilities: The problem here for the Lakers is also their strength, which is that with only three players under contract, there’s nothing to offer along with their seventh pick in order to truly make some noise. It’s nice to have all that flexibility in case there are desirable options in free agency, but in terms of making a deal in advance of the draft, having no players to package with the pick would appear to be a substantial hinderance.

Besides, L.A. needs young talent as much as it needs superstars. A trade of any kind seems extremely unlikely, if not completely impossible.

Predictions: Before it was revealed that Joel Embiid would require foot surgery, it seemed as though the Lakers would be in line to grab either Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh with the seventh overall pick — either of whom would have been fine choices. But Embiid may fall now, though just how much remains to be seen.

The reality is that this is a very deep draft, and there will be plenty of surprises with how the top of the draft order plays out. The Lakers will have multiple players available who could fill a need from a talent standpoint, but just as it is with any team, choosing wisely will be crucial to the team’s rebuilding effort and its chances to begin to piece together a roster geared toward long-term success.

Potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid suffers stress fracture

  1. mazblast - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    “The Lakers will have multiple players available who could fill a need from a talent standpoint,”

    Uh, yeah, since they need talent at every position, especially at “four guys to give Kobe the ball and never get it back”.

    • kb2408 - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      Dude, Kobe has been in the league almost two decades and I bet you’ve been saying the same dumb comment for almost TWO DECADES. My point is, at this point you look foolish taking shots at one of two most accomplished players since MJ retired ( Duncan is the other one), a 1st ballot HOF’er precisely five yrs from the day he retires and a player that’s universally considered at worst top 15 ever. You’re better than that.

      • 88heatnation - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:26 AM

        The next two years in lakerland will be years of mediocracy (34-40w), Kobe did his thing and proved to the world why he’s so selfish (2yr 48m) thinking for himself building own personal accolades and chasing dollars which holds back cap flexibility rather then making the sacrifice that a Tim Duncan would make because after all aren’t we all about winning, sure he is competitive but I think he himself realize how deep the west really is and also coming off a major injury at 36, Lakers better off rebuilding for the future and handing reigns of the franchise to another young star maybe Kobe can mentor a Smart or Randle, but dont bank on it..

  2. campcouch - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Swaggy P should be the pick!

  3. kb2408 - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    I want Smart!!

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      Me too. But he ain’t gonna be there at #7. No way.

      It’s either Randle or Vonleh and I’d be happy with either, but I’m pushing more for Randle.

      Actually, my money is on the Lakers totally effing this thing up and going for some foreign bum or a complete reach for a #7. I honestly don’t expect to come out happy this draft, but I HOPE AND PRAY my gut feeling is wrong.

      By the way, how would you feel if Embiid somehow dropped to #7?

      • kb2408 - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:50 AM

        If Embiid is there, take him!! If it’s between Randle, Vonleh and Gordon…I go Randle though I’m not his biggest fan. He seemed to get the job done but it wasn’t always pretty.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:00 AM

        @ kb

        Yeah, as a matter of fact I’d be pretty amped up if he was still available at #7.
        If I was the owner of #s 1-3 I wouldn’t touch him with two yard sticks taped together but for #7 that’s a risk you HAVE to take.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        This Embiid injury really hurts the lakers chances of landing Smart. I don’t see how a team can take Embiid over Exum now, and that means that Exum will likely fall into the top 3. From picks 4-6, only the Magic need a point guard, and they would take Exum but if he’s not there anymore, then they will probably take Smart. I would love Vonleh, but it could also mean the Lakers get stuck with Randle, who I really don’t like. If it weren’t for this injury, everything was setting up perfectly for the Lakers to get Smart.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        @ Malt, I’m really not liking Randle anymore. He will never be a good defender and he is a good player now, but I just don’t see much upside with his short arms and not crazy athleticism to compensate. A guy like Vonleh has all the tools and work ethic to turn into a star one day. If they can’t get Smart or Vonleh, I kind of want Elfrid Payton, who can really help with their perimeter defense and has a lot of upside.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Randle’s injury scared me a little. i do like Vonleh, dude can become a presence on the post. I’d take Embiid if he falls.

  4. smoothaswilkes - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    no duh. great preview. what’s next? the sky is blue.

  5. maddenwizkid - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Smart learning from nash and kobe as well as coach byron scott would be something, id still like klove over all that tho.

    • mazblast - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      You’d like it. Laker fans would like it. However, as the article points out, the Lakers have nothing to offer for Love.

      As I keep telling fans of the Lakers, Heat, Celtics, Patriots, Cowboys, and especially Yankees–just because you want it doesn’t mean you can get it.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        funny though how those teams mentioned seem to get things their way more often than other teams….

  6. tfyjman - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    The Celtics aren’t really the type of organization to make pipe dream statements of buying up the best (available) talent. Sure they’re in the media now over K Love but they are the type of organization to rebuild through drafting unlike those other teams you mentioned.

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