Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has insisted that the franchise will use their No.2 overall Draft pick this year rather than look to trade it.
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The NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday was a success for the franchise, as not only were they able to hold on to their first round pick but they struck it lucky by moving up the board and were handed the No.2 overall selection.
Ultimately, many believe that they will draft either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, depending on who the Minnesota Timberwolves go with, although speculation has hinted that it might not be that simple.
LA may well choose to bolster their back-court further and look at guard options, while there have been suggestions previously that they could even consider trading their pick depending on what they could receive in return.
However, Kupchak insists that they haven’t considered the latter and they will be looking to make the most of their luck when the Draft comes round on June 25.
“It looks as though we’ll use our pick this year,” Kupchak said on ESPN Radio.
“Let’s just say there was a team that had the fifth or sixth or seventh pick, and they wanted to go to No. 2. In that area of the draft, just to move up two or three or four slots, normally, it’s hard to do. And the price that that team would pay would be high, because they’ve targeted a player that they really want. Obviously the other team would know that, and they would have to pay for that.”
Given the unlikelihood of any trade deal resulting in the Lakers immediately becoming a title contender, they should ultimately hold on to their pick and continue the process of rebuilding for the long-term with Kobe Bryant set to retire at the end of next season.
Jordan Clarkson has proven to be a solid option and will look to develop his game further, while Julius Randle will return from injury next season to give the Lakers hope for a brighter future.