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2017 Draft Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

2017 Draft Preview: Los Angeles Lakers NBA Experts

Los Angeles Lakers: 2017 Draft Picks: 2, 28

2016-17 record: 26-56
Fourth place, Pacific Division
Did not make playoffs

Pick Name Position School/Club
2
28


Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength

WATCH: Randle leads the Lakers

The Lakers at least have a foundation in place for the bridge to the future, with Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and maybe Ivica Zubac with promising futures in Los Angeles or trade material, plus Luke Walton as coach. There is reason for optimism amid the critical watch of Magic Johnson heading into his first draft and summer of free agency and trades as head of basketball operations.

Needs Work
The Lakers are terrible on defense, whether because of youth, a lot of roster turnover that makes cohesion difficult, or just because too many Lakers are terrible on defense. Ball handling is a problem for a team that committed among the most turnovers in the league while also struggling to make shots, all leading to a flow of wasted opportunities on offense.

Two Stats That Matter
5 — Consecutive victories in April, the longest winning streak for the Lakers in four years, since the same five in a row to close 2012-13.

3 — Years in a row the Lakers got the second pick in the lottery. They chose Russell in 2014 and Ingram in 2015.

The Way To Go
NBA.com’s Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers his suggestions:

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Point guard is the likely direction in a draft loaded with prospects at the position, but do not consider Lonzo Ball an automatic at No. 2. De’Aaron Fox also gets a long look. The potential game changer is whether Johnson sees the same potential for Ingram as a full-time point guard as the 2016-17 indicated.

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 103.4 (24th)
Defensive: 110.6 (30th)

Under Contract
G: Jordan Clarkson
G: D’Angelo Russell
F: Luol Deng
F: Corey Brewer
F: Brandon Ingram
F: Julius Randle
F: Larry Nance Jr.
F/C: Tarik Black
C: Timofey Mozgov
C: Ivica Zubac

Free Agents
G: Tyler Ennis (unrestricted)
G: David Nwaba (team option)
F/G: Nick Young (player option)
F: Thomas Robinson (unrestricted)
F: Metta World Peace

Recent Draft History

WATCH: Lakers lose, but D’Angelo Russell drops 28 points vs the Wizards

2016: Brandon Ingram (2), Ivica Zubac (32)
2015: D’Angelo Russell (2), Larry Nance Jr. (27), Anthony Brown (34)
2014: Julius Randle (7)
2013: Ryan Kelly (48)
2012: Robert Sacre (60)

 

SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER has covered the NBA since 1988. You can follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.