On Thursday evening, the 2022 NBA Draft will take place at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, and though the Lakers don’t have either of their own draft picks, they got into the action by making a move on Thursday morning.
L.A. announced a trade with Orlando for the 35th overall pick in the draft, in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations. L.A.’s own second rounder (No. 38) is owned by San Antonio, while New Orleans (8) owns the first.
This is an area where the Lakers have drafted very well in recent years, including:
- Jordan Clarkson (No. 46, 2014)
- Larry Nance Jr. (No. 27, 2015)
- Ivica Zubac (No. 32, 2016)
- Kyle Kuzma (No. 27, 2017)
- Josh Hart (No. 30, 2017)
- Thomas Bryant (No. 42, 2017)
- Mo Wagner (No. 25, 2018)
- Talen Horton Tucker (No. 46, 2019)
Regardless of where their picks fall, each year the Lakers scouting department ranks draft prospects from one through 60. That way, they’re always ready to make a selection should moves occur before or during the draft.
The front office also has an additional list for undrafted players they’ll try to sign to their Summer League roster.
They’ve struck gold on a few of those undrafted players, including current Laker Austin Reaves, and former Laker Alex Caruso.
In order to do so, the scouting department – led by assistant GM and Director of Scouting Jesse Buss – analyzes players all over the world throughout the year, and going back years; information is also gathered during the in-person draft workouts that have been going on throughout the previous month.
All of the accumulated info will be used on pick No. 35, a spot where they can look to add an impact player, as well as on the aforementioned crop of undrafted players.
The draft starts at 4:30 p.m. Pacific on ESPN.