The Boston Celtics have the primary choice of the 2017 NBA Draft, however the Lakers have the primary alternative. As Washington purpose guard Markelle Fultz more entrenches himself because the easy favorite to be the No. 1 pick, the Lakers’ new front workplace is aware of it’s a probably franchise-defining call to create. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson associated chief Rob Pelinka haven’t command these roles for an NBA Draft, and as reports swirl around their franchise and decide, nobody quite features a scan on what they’re going to do.
A big a part of that’s, this is often a troublesome decide to create. a minimum of four players have stood out through the draft method as probably warrant the No. 2 pick, and therefore the Lakers even have their already-young core to contemplate. this is often the third consecutive year with the No. a pair of decide for la, and what Johnson thinks of Jim Buss picks D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram could facilitate decide whom he takes this year.
It helps that the four doable picks couldn’t be a lot of completely different. Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum every provide entirely completely different taking part in designs despite the point overlaps and similar one-and-done faculty resumes. This isn’t merely regarding best accessible the maximum amountbecause the vision and goals of the individuals creating the choice.
Ball is that the easy pick, the hometown kid who has been projected to the Lakers for months and desperately wants to join them. Complications with his father are easier to brush off when you factor in the power of the Lakers’ organization. And his mix of passing and shooting will be hard to leave aside.
The bonus with Ball is that he and D’Angelo Russell could share point guard duties. Defensively, they’d have major issues together, but their similar skill sets actually work together quite well on offense. Having two passers like that would make the Lakers look like “Showtime” again quickly.
Ball would be a nod to the old and a nod to the new. He was built for the modern game, and his addition wouldn’t force any immediate changes to the Lakers’ already-existing template. And if Ball can overcome his shortcomings and have a strong rookie season, his passing and ability to play either guard spot could become a big part of any future free agency pitches; most NBA stars recognize the value of being set up from time to time.
The Lakers are a weird acceptable him, though. Fox can’t extremely oppose the ball, which means this may slide Russell off the ball for many of his minutes. in this means, Fox may be the best choose if you don’t believe Russell can ever be a good playmaker a la James Harden and instead wish to feature his marking. Ball provides a number of that, along side the same quick pace, however he will far more simply slide to the wing.
Drafting Fox would show that Johnson desires a singular leader whom he will trust on each ends. That’s the kind of player Fox may be. He’s not easy-fit kind of choose, as he would management the pace and create his teammates play his vogue. There’s no means, for example, that he might be on the court with Russell Westbrook for extended stretches, a tangle if the Lakers area unit targeting Westbrook in 2018 agency. A player like Fox will become your identity. however together with his defensive potential and his high IQ, which will be simply what Johnson wants.
Whether you think Jackson will shoot or can learn to shoot — he created a solid 37.8% of his 3s on low volume and was dangerous at the charity throw line — determines your mileage with him as an opportunity. Everybody agrees he’s a motivating contestant with nice passing instincts, lock-down defensive potential and a competitive hearth.
The Lakers would like that. Jackson and Ingram enjoying along may become a motivating pair, capable of enjoying the 2 and 3 in tiny units and 3 and 4 in huge ones whereas change assignments supported pairing. However that solely works if Ingram are often pretty much as good a shooter and scorer as he was beaked getting into the draft, although he struggled together with his jumper as a cub.
Selecting Jackson may conjointly mean the Lakers aren’t sold on what they need in Ingram — or a minimum ofneed to place some pressure on him to earn his role. He contend far better within the half of the season, however that jumper ne’er started falling and his defensive potential continues to be quite unfulfilled. The largest winner if the Lakers take Jackson could also be Russell, who can view it as Johnson’s seal of approval for his future at purpose guard (even if that may not be the long case).
But the larger punctuation with Jackson is what he’d mean to the Lakers’ pursuit of 2018 free agent Paul George, that Johnson is on the record (and against the rules) confirming. Whereas drafting on the premise of theoretical representation things could be a major, sometimes unwise risk, the hype round the Lakers and George is robust enough to be unavoidable. Jackson hopes to be kind of like George, however he wouldn’t be a goodmatch next to him except as a defensive specialist.
Tatum is that the least intriguing of the highest prospects, principally due to the ridiculous quantity of polish on his game. He looks bound to be the Rookie of the Year Award favorite no mather wherever he lands, and his future as a minimum of a 16-points-per-game scorer is well-nigh assured if he stays healthy.
He’d even be an absolutely fascinating bellwether for the Lakers. Experiments to show Julius Randle and Larry Lance Jr. into stretch-fours have principally return up short. The team seemingly won’t provide Randle an extension nevertheless, notably if they take a player like Tatum, who comes to maneuver to the four within the long run.
He’s a really totally different scorer-type than Ingram, though, and therefore the two Duke one-and-dones mayrealize serious chemistry as they conjoin at the forward spots. the matter is that Tatum’s primary plus is his evaluation, and therefore the Lakers need to feature somebody (George or otherwise) who presumptively can do this at volume. selecting Tatum could be a sign that the Lakers need to relinquish this young group of probability to win on its own before any forceful measures.