The Los Angeles Lakers have traded a 2019 second round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 39 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, the pick the Lakers are sending out is the Chicago Bulls’ second rounder, and the team will also send cash considerations to Philadelphia.
There have been plenty of rumors about the Lakers liking various players throughout the draft process, although most of those prospects have been concentrated towards the back end of the first round and are even less likely to be available with the No. 39 pick.
This could mean a few things. On one hand, there is a chance that there is someone in the second round that the Lakers really like and they’re willing to (literally) put their money where their mouth is in order to grab, or this could be an effort by the Lakers to leverage their spending power to move up in the first round, a theory postulated by Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer:
Maybe the Lakers can use picks 25 and 39 as ammo to move up for Texas Tech's Zhaire Smith, who they like and worked out on Monday at their practice facility. https://t.co/UqQpVKWqBP— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 21, 2018
Another option? This could mean that the Lakers think that Mitchell Robinson, who they’ve often been rumored to have interest in, could fall into this range:
Could this be a potential landing spot for Mitchell Robinson in the second round? He was rumored to be drawing some interest with the Lakers' first rounder (#25), but a poor pre-draft process may find him in the 2nd round now, despite his obvious talent. https://t.co/xBOSAXKnUy— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 21, 2018
This could also mean none of those things. The Lakers have done a phenomenal job putting out tons of misinformation throughout this draft process, something that could easily obscure their actual intentions and allow them to come away with a player they actually want, either with the No. 39 pick, or the No. 25 or No. 47 ones. Maybe even with a combination of the three.
Nothing will be set in stone until the draft on Thursday, but this seems like it could be the start of an avalanche of draft movement for the league.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.