The 2021 NBA is officially upon us and the Los Angeles Lakers will pick 22nd overall — whether or not they’ll be picking for themselves or another team remains to be seen.
On Wednesday, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype reported that the Lakers had discussed the No. 22 pick in trade discussions centered around Kyle Kuzma and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. Then, on Thursday, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reiterated that report and added that the talks had gained “real traction” within the last 24 hours.
Regardless of who has the pick by the time the Lakers are on the clock on Friday, Rob Pelinka will be the one to call it in. Why? Because the Lakers can’t trade their first-round pick until 30 days after the player they select signs their rookie contract. It’s all very confusing, I know.
In the event Lakers do trade the No. 22 pick — for Hield or someone else — there’s still a chance that they’ll make a selection on Friday. Not only can they trade for a pick, something they’ve reportedly expressed interest in, but they can buy a pick in the second round, the latter of which got them the rights to Talen Horton-Tucker, the No. 46 pick, in 2019.
Here’s everything else you need to know about the 2021 NBA Draft:
When: Thursday, August 29, at 5 p.m. PT.
Where: Barclays Center, New York.
TV Channels: ABC (first round), ESPN (both rounds).
Live Stream: Watch ESPN app.
Friday could end up being just another draft day for the Lakers, but Pelinka and Co. seem like they’re cooking something up behind the scenes. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.