Lakers have low-key draft night after trading first-round pick – Orange County Register


The NBA Draft, in more than one way, is a young man’s game.Focused fully on the present, the Lakers had a calm Wednesday night as much of the league tried to get closer to the heels of the defending champions.

Technically, the Lakers used their first-round pick, selecting Jaden McDaniels, a 20-year-old Washington forward. But the No.28 overall selection had already passed through two cities before McDaniels even put on his draft cap to complete his bow-tie tuxedo, surrounded by friends and family on his sofa.

The Lakers’ deal over the weekend to send veteran guard Danny Green and the pick that McDaniels became in Oklahoma City was firmly in place on Sunday. By the time the pick came on Wednesday night, the Thunder had arranged additional deals to send Green to Philadelphia and McDaniels to Minnesota.

The Lakers’ prize was Dennis Schröder, the 27-year-old point guard who the organization says can help them make their way to the final. The front office was due to comment on the deal Thursday morning, following a late-night call with the league to formalize the deal.

After securing five lottery picks in the previous six draft, the Lakers no longer revolve around draft night as their key offseason date – the free agency start on Friday is their red letter day.

Starting with writing Anthony Davis to a maximum wage contract, all of the Lakers’ goals are on a shorter timeline, including bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and learning whether Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee will go for the second year of their contracts. The Lakers have reportedly looked at veterans like Wesley Matthews in free agency to bolster their wing depth. Getting recruits has been pushed to the back of business.

It’s a sentiment the Lakers – unless there are clever moves in the next few years – will get used to: pushing back the excitement of draft night for the harder work of finding veterans and supporting the cast. In addition to trading their last two first-round picks, they have already traded two of their next three first-round players in the deal that brought Davis from New Orleans.

Pelinka declined to buy a second-round pick on Wednesday, even though the team’s scouting department has a strong history of finding solid talent outside of the top of the last draft.

In the previous five projects alone, the Lakers have selected or acquired seven current NBA players chosen from outside the top 20: Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Svi Mykhailiuk and Talen Horton-Tucker. . They then transferred all of those players with the exception of Horton-Tucker, who won a ring last month, as assets to build up a championship list. The Lakers had previously traded their own second-round pick, the 58th overall, to Orlando for Horton-Tucker’s draft rights in the summer of 2019.

Still, draft machinations have turned with teams trying to level up to challenge the Lakers, a reminder that there is a lot of work to be done by the start of training camp on December 1.

During the Western Conference, there was a literal change of guards for a handful of teams: The Clippers traded for Luke Kennard, trading Landry Shamet. The Dallas Mavericks traded for Philadelphia 76ers winger Josh Richardson, sacking Seth Curry.


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