DRAFT TRADE: Lakers acquire Brook Lopez and No. 27 overall pick Kyle Kuzma in trade with Brooklyn Nets for D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.
Areas Of Strength
The Lakers at least have a foundation in place for the bridge to the future, with Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and maybe Ivica Zubac with promising futures in Los Angeles or trade material, plus Luke Walton as coach. There is reason for optimism amid the critical watch of Magic Johnson heading into his first draft and summer of free agency and trades as head of basketball operations.
The Lakers are terrible on defense, whether because of youth, a lot of roster turnover that makes cohesion difficult, or just because too many Lakers are terrible on defense. Ball handling is a problem for a team that committed among the most turnovers in the league while also struggling to make shots, all leading to a flow of wasted opportunities on offense.
Two Stats That Matter
5 -- Consecutive victories in April, the longest winning streak for the Lakers in four years, since the same five in a row to close 2012-13.
3 -- Years in a row the Lakers got the second pick in the lottery. They chose Russell in 2014 and Ingram in 2015.
The Way To Go
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers his suggestions:
Point guard is the likely direction in a draft loaded with prospects at the position, but do not consider Lonzo Ball an automatic at No. 2. De’Aaron Fox also gets a long look. The potential game changer is whether Johnson sees the same potential for Ingram as a full-time point guard as the 2016-17 indicated.
2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 103.4 (24th)
Defensive: 110.6 (30th)
G: Jordan Clarkson
G: D’Angelo Russell
F: Luol Deng
F: Corey Brewer
F: Brandon Ingram
F: Julius Randle
F: Larry Nance Jr.
F/C: Tarik Black
C: Timofey Mozgov
C: Ivica Zubac
G: Tyler Ennis (unrestricted)
G: David Nwaba (team option)
F/G: Nick Young (player option)
F: Thomas Robinson (unrestricted)
F: Metta World Peace
Recent Draft History
2016: Brandon Ingram (2), Ivica Zubac (32)
2015: D’Angelo Russell (2), Larry Nance Jr. (27), Anthony Brown (34)
2014: Julius Randle (7)
2013: Ryan Kelly (48)
2012: Robert Sacre (60)
-- Scott Howard-Cooper