After weeks of waiting nervously, the Lakers were not only able to keep their pick, they were able to stay put. Will they draft or go shopping?…..
The wait is over Laker fans, you can pull yourself off that ledge, put away that knife, and save those pills for another day. Lakers retained their 2016 draft pick with a ping pong ball combination of 2-3-7-14. In an unprecedented lottery, in which, every team stayed exactly where they were going into the lottery. With an astounding 18.8% chance of remaining exactly where they were, the Lakers now have multiple options at the #2 spot.
Drafting a Future Star
Make no mistake Laker fans this comes down to 1 of 2 guys and in the end whomever the 76er’s don’t pick, will be our pick.
Ben Simmons: The 6’10 freshman from LSU from Australia is not the overall consensus 1st pick, but he is likely to be the 1st pick. Simmons is going to be a star right out of the gate. There have been reports that he wants to join the Lakers simply for a shoe deal, however it really isn’t up to him. Via Nick DePaula of Yahoo sports.
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) May 12, 2016
Simmons has the size of a power forward with the handles and burst of speed like a point guard. He sucks rebounds up like a vacuum. Averaging 20/11/5 in college, he was a monster and is likely to be the same in the NBA. 2 glaring holes that we see in his game are his lack of a real jump shot and his defense is suspect especially at the 4 position which is likely where he is going to spend most of his time on the defensive end. It’s very unlikely that Simmons will fall to the Lakers in my opinion. The 76er’s need a star and this is the player that has that ability coming out of college. Another issue is the general fit with the Lakers is just not good. With Randle an already skilled ball handling big man who has issues with his jumper, the Lakers just won’t be a great fit for the 19 year old Australian born forward. Please see my co-writer @notfamousnelson’s scouting report on his favorite prospect.
Brandon Ingram: The likely choice for the Lakers at the #2 spot. Ingram is a 6’9″ 18 year old forward out of Duke who happens to be tall and lanky with a ridiculous 7’3” wingspan. Ingram is just about the complete opposite of Simmons, but not in a bad way. Ingram has the ability to take the defense off the dribble, however, he is predominantly a player that will play on the perimeter and prepare himself for the kick out, or drive the paint to gather a rebound. His splits of 17/7/2 weren’t spectacular by Ben Simmons standards, however with a player like Grayson allen who demanded the ball it wasn’t easy for him to get his shots. Those he did get, he was great at hitting them. He shot about 5.5 3 pointers per game averaging a solid 41%. He is seen here preparing himself for the 3 pont line via @chadfordinsider
How is Brandon Ingram adapting to the NBA 3 point line? pic.twitter.com/G8GA6EgVlV
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2016
Ingram is the better shooter thus he would slide right in between Russell, Clarkson, and Randle. We have a glaring need at small forward and he certainly fits the bill as that type of player. His main weakness is his strength and overall size. Though tall with a huge wingspan, he is only 190 pounds and if you looked at him you see that he needs to put on some muscle. At the lottery, it was stated that he has been eating himself with over 5000 calories a day. His defense is still a little suspect, however with his arm length and lateral quickness, it may turn into a strength in the near future. Please see my Co-writer @notfamousnelson’s scouting report on Brandon Ingram:
To Trade Or Not To Trade
Before I get into this brief discussion about trading the 2nd overall pick. I firmly believe we should keep whomever we choose to draft. Simmons or Ingram will be stars in this league and if we are to take on the Golden State Warriors’ modus operandi, we will need to continue to build what we have and add veteran pieces through free agency. That said there are only a handful of players that I would actually trade for and none of them are honestly available. The short list is Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and maybe Nerlens Noel. All those player minus Noel are likely unavailable and I only say Noel is available simply because the 76er’s have a ton of front court talent. In the end, however, this is a very unlikely scenario. My feeling is the Laker’s front office knows that this is a great opportunity to place the final brick on the rebuild and go all out in free agency. Free agents may not come to LA this summer, but my feeling is that with a young core of Russell, Clarkson, Simmons/Ingram, Randle, and Larry Nance Jr, its not going to phase the Lakers much in years to come.