The balls have dropped, and the favor has fallen with the Los Angeles Lakers once again. For the third consecutive year, the Lakers have scored the 2nd overall pick in the NBA draft. It only took 2 hours for the rumors to start flying off the handle. Once again, these rumors revolve around young Lakers Guard D’Angelo Russell. Per Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated,
With the Los Angeles Lakers coming away with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft following Tuesday night’s lottery, multiple NBA teams are evaluating trade packages for D’Angelo Russell, league sources told SI.com.
Similar to last year, it seems that teams think that Russell is on the trade block. Of course, this is all speculative. At this point, the fact that the top 3 picks are likely going to be guards, it’s no surprise that the teams in search of a ball handler are lining up for the services of the young talented guard. I anticipate a plethora of these rumors will continue to come out up until draft night. Once again, some around the league feel that another player the Lakers will potentially draft will make him redundant. Last season it was Kris Dunn. This season it seems it is Lonzo Ball.
With all of that said, from the sounds of it, Magic Johnson is steadfast in his belief that the future lies with the current talent and next years free agent class.
"I don't think we're going to be a major player this year. I'm looking forward to next summer." – Magic Johnson on free agency
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 17, 2017
Magic has maintained this position which comes as a surprise based of previous tweets he sent out long ago, which got him in trouble with the league in the past. Sounds like the plan will be to stick with the talent we have now, and add a talented player in this draft with the #2 pick. Hopefully that will lead to improvement for the team over next year, then convince a free agent (*cough cough* Paul George *cough cough*) that they are the final piece to the puzzle and not the savior of the franchise.
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