The Lakers lose their first-round draft pick if it falls outside the top three in tonight’s lottery (44% chance of that happening).
They reportedly want to trade the pick if it hits No. 1 (20% chance of it landing there).
What about other possibilities?
Multiple sources said at the combine this week that they expect the pick to be in play if it’s No. 3 — with the Lakers looking for a young veteran in return.
This is a two-player draft with a significant drop after Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. So, the third pick holds less value in this draft than an average one. The Lakers might not want the pick, but other teams will likely view it similarly.
That said, the Lakers might be willing to take commensurate value for the pick if it comes in the form of a veteran ready to help the team win now. That’s what Jim Buss needs, and he’s running the show.