After trading away their only pick in this year’s draft to the New Orleans Pelicans in the (still-growing) blockbuster Anthony Davis trade, the Los Angeles Lakers are determined to buy a second-round pick before the draft on June 20, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Lakers are aggressively pursuing the purchase of second-round picks in Thursday's NBA Draft too, league sources tell ESPN. Those picks will offer two important things for LA: acquisition of inexpensive labor and ability to exceed the salary cap with those minimum contracts. https://t.co/19s9qn8Lbm— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 19, 2019
The Lakers are no strangers to purchasing second-round picks. In 2014, Mitch Kupchak, the team’s former general manager, bought a second-round pick from the Washington Wizards for $1.8 million. That pick was later used to draft Jordan Clarkson, who went on to make the All-Rookie First Team.
This year, the Lakers have even more incentive to buy a second-rounder.
If Rob Pelinka is able to secure a second-round pick in this year’s draft, the pick will have a cap hold of $0 until signed, meaning the Lakers can use all of their cap space and then go over the cap to sign the pick. That’s going to be big for them considering how much cheap talent they’re going to need to fill out the bottom end of their roster.
Granted, a second-round pick isn’t projected to have any immediate impact, but the Lakers’ scouting department has had lucking finding talent deep in the draft over the last few years with players like Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Larry Nance Jr., Clarkson and most recently Kyle Kuzma. If they can do the same again this year, it would obviously be tremendous.
Luckily, the Lakers have already started scouting players that will feasibly be available in the second round as well as players that could go undrafted. You can keep track of everyone the Lakers have worked out so far here.