With under 48 hours until the 2023 NBA Draft, whether or not the Lakers will make their pick at No. 17 seems to remain up in the air. While the pick offers a chance to take a young player that could be a contributor now and in the future, it also represents one of the most tradeable and desirable assets the team has.
That latter option appeals to be one that is gaining more and more traction leading up to the draft. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, there is a growing chance the Lakers move their pick, which he reported in a new mock draft for the site (emphasis mine).
Assuming the Lakers keep their pick — there is an increasing likelihood they trade it Thursday — landing a lottery-level talent like Lively would be the best-case scenario.
What’s interesting about that rumor is the complete lack of noise surrounding who or what they might be targeting. There has already been one previous report that the team is considering trading down in the draft, which makes sense.
But are they looking for multiple draft picks? That seems unlikely. Are there players they’re targeting? Well, there are a couple of interesting scenarios in that regard.
The Nets, for example, are reportedly dangling a couple of wings with their draft picks in hopes of moving up.
The Nets are said to be "extremely active" in trade conversations ahead of the draft, per @DraftExpress.— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) June 20, 2023
"BKN has the option of using one or both of Nos. 21 and 22 with players such as Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale to get to different spots in the draft if they desire."
Would the Lakers look to package perhaps Malik Beasley and the No. 17 pick for one of those players and a draft pick?
Similarly, the Pacers have a host of draft picks at the end of the first and beginning of the second round. The Lakers also have a history of wanting to acquire Buddy Hield. Would they trade the same package for Hield and a pick or two?
Both these are variations of trades suggested by our own Alex Regla and are the types of deals that would make sense if the Lakers are looking to move down. As always, an entirely different option could come about heading into the draft or even the night of.
The Lakers are in a good position to take advantage of whatever the situation presents, which overall seems to be their approach.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.