May 16, 2017
The Lakers learned they will receive the #2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after the league held the draft lottery on Tuesday night in New York.
LA can now breathe a deep sigh of relief since their 1st round pick in June’s draft was top 3 protected. Had the Lakers pick fallen out of the top 3, it would have been sent to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash trade from 2012. The Suns received the draft pick from the Lakers, then traded the pick to Philadelphia later on.
The Boston Celtics received the #1 pick in the draft. The Celtics received that draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets, as part of the trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets in 2013.
The 76ers will be picking 3rd, their third straight year in the top 3. Following the 76ers will be the Suns, Kings, Magic, Timberwolves, Knicks, Mavericks, Kings, Hornets, Pistons, Nuggets, and Heat.
The Lakers had the most at stake of any team on Tuesday night. By keeping their 2017 1st round pick, LA will also be keeping their 2019 1st round pick as well. Had they lost this year’s pick, they would have had to to sent the 2019 1st round pick to Orlando to satisfy the Dwight Howard trade. Instead, the Lakers’ 1st round pick in 2018 will go to the 76ers unprotected, and in 2019, they will send Orlando a pair of 2nd round picks.
As for who the Lakers might select with the #2 pick, many of the top players in this year’s draft are point guards. Washington’s Markelle Fultz, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Kansas’ Josh Jackson, and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox are all candidates.
Expect all four to workout for the Lakers over the few weeks. At this point, draft experts expect Fultz to go #1, which makes Ball a strong candidate to go #2.