Could LA be the Next Golden State.
by Steve Samek
Lots of shock coming from the days leading up to the NBA draft. No team seems to be getting hit like The La Lakers. The Lakers hold the number two pick in the daft for the third year in a row. Last year the Lakers went with Brandon Ingram and the year before that D’Angelo Russell. The intent to use them as corner stones of the rebuild. http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/draft.html.
This will not be the case Russell has been shipped to the Brooklyn Nets along with Timofey Mozgov. The return Brook Lopez and pick number 27 for 2017. The move looks to be for salary cap room as the Lakers have been trying to get Paul George from Indiana. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-trade-20170620-story.html. Lebron James and Russell Westbrook are also big name free agents on the Lakers radar for 2018. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-trade-20170620-story.html. Letting Mozgov and Russell go saves LA around 22 Million for next summer. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-trade-20170620-story.html
The Lakers also lost Nick Young to free agency. Young elected not to sign and test the market after four seasons with LA. Young averaged about 13 points a game for the Purple and Yellow and made 71 starts. http://www.nba.com/lakers/releases/170621-nick-young-declines-option. Though by not picking up the option the Lakers save $5.7 million.
The popular pick for the Lakers at number two is Lonzo Ball from UCLA. Though the Lakers have also worked out possible number one pick Markelle Fultz. http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/170615-draft-workout-markelle-fultz.
According to recent mock drafts that is the case. It would play well for the Lakers to take ball, as he is a local guy from UCLA and a great talent. With a swagger to match. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2017/06/21/nba-mock-draft-markelle-fultz-lonzo-ball-deaaron-fox-trades/417590001/. Even going so far as to try and recruit James to join him in LA, before he has been officially drafted by the Lakers. http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/lonzo-ball-makes-sales-pitch-for-lebron-james-to-join-him-with-lakers/. Bold move, premature, but bold.
The other pick at number 27 seems to be expendable for George and has played out in numerous scenarios for him. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-trade-20170620-story.html. So, the Lakers may not have made all their moves yet. Stay tuned, but the plan is to contend for serious in 2018.