The Los Angeles Lakers are now, for all intents and purposes, in the driver’s seat for the 2017 NBA Draft. With Markelle Fultz reportedly set to land in Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick, the Lakers hold the keys to the remainder of the draft with the No. 2 overall selection and that, in and of itself, focuses a ton of attention on Magic Johnson and company over the next few days.
With that said, the Lakers are reportedly focused on other things in addition to exercising the No. 2 overall pick, including a high-level pursuit of Paul George. Before that potentially takes shape, though, Los Angeles is reportedly in the mix to add another first round pick in 2017. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN brings word that the Lakers “have engaged at least two teams in the lottery” about adding a third pick to their current selections at No. 2 and No. 28 overall.
This is huge news in the team is reportedly seeking “players to improve their outside shooting and perimeter defense” and, at least tangentially, the Lakers adding more talent to the roster could aid in a future push to add a top-tier player like George. For now, no specifics are available in terms of specific players that Los Angeles could be targeting. Still, Los Angeles does have a bevy of young players that could be available in trade, headlined by Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell, that might be enticing for a team in the late lottery looking for more established pieces.
There have been plenty of fireworks before the 2017 NBA Draft begins but, if the Lakers are able to add a third first round pick, one of the league’s flagship franchises could steal some of the spotlight before Thursday arrives.