The Los Angeles Lakers, who have two first-round picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft, reportedly are trying to obtain another.
The Lakers, who finished with the third-worst record in the league and have the second and 28th picks, have contacted at least two teams in the lottery, unnamed sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The team is unlikely to trade the No. 2 pick, although Shelburne reports that there have been inquiries.
The Lakers are expected to take UCLA’s Lonzo Ball with the second pick, but also are considering Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.
According to multiple reports, the top five players seem to be set with Washington’s Markelle Fultz going to the Philadelphia 76ers after Philly and Boston swapped the Nos. 1 and 3 picks over the weekend. In addition to Fultz, Ball, Fox and Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum is expected to go in the first five.
News that the Lakers would like another pick comes as Paul George reportedly has told the Indiana Pacers that he intends to leave after the 2017-18 season, with the Lakers his chosen destination. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the George news, cites sources saying that Pacers President Kevin Pritchard had been “engaging” teams on a George trade but that the Lakers had not been involved. The Pacers, of course, would prefer to get something for George in a trade rather than see him walk away with no compensation for the team. And teams not named Lakers are aware that he would be a one-year rental. There is, according to Wojnarowski, a rental market for him, but, he tweets, “how robust” is it?
Acquiring George through a trade or as a free agent would boost the Lakers’ rebuilding effort after a dismal few years in…