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Anthony Davis Trade May Land Lakers 2024 Lottery Pick

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, NBA Draft lottery picks

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently projected to have just the No. 55 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Due to the Anthony Davis trade, the New Orleans Pelicans have had the Lakers’ first-round picks for the past three years. However, this year L.A. may keep their first-round pick, surrendering one final first-rounder to the Pelicans next year instead.

Lakers May Land 2024 Lottery Pick

“People around the league expect that the Pelicans will give the Lakers their pick this year and take the 2025 pick,” reports The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. “If that’s the case, it’s hard to fathom that Los Angeles would use the pick on Bronny [James]. Rob Pelinka is far more likely to use it to chase Trae Young or another star in a trade.”

It may not be out of the realm of possibility that they use the pick for LeBron James’ son.

Of course, the Lakers could see it as a chess move that keeps James in L.A. Furthermore, recent draft picks such as Max Christie, Maxwell Lewis, and Jalen Hood-Schifino were drafted for their potential more than their NBA-readiness. Lastly, consider the role Cam Reddish plays for L.A. and how it compares to Bronny’s scouting report.

However, to O’Connor’s point, the Lakers only drafted one of the players in the first round. A potential lottery prospect heading into the 2023 NBA Draft, L.A. selected Hood-Schifino with the No. 17 pick.

As of Apr. 12, the Lakers’ first-round pick —that the Pelicans control —is slotted at No. 13. Even more to O’Connor’s point, James’ son is no longer considered a lottery-bound prospect. That could change in the coming weeks but, for now, it’s his reality.

The younger James has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft but has retained his eligibility. After a surprisingly unsuccessful freshman campaign, he’s entered the transfer portal where several schools are in play. Chief among those options may be Duquesne, where his father’s high school teammate was recently hired. At Duquesne, he could have a major role and significantly boost his draft stock.

Trade Bait?

For the Lakers, the No. 13 pick would be best used in a trade for a third star. Their top target currently appears to be Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young. Young is an exhilarating point guard with a level of showmanship that made Magic Johnson perpetually popular. With his firepower and passing ability, he could make life easier for the aging James.

Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball and Cleveland Cavaliers hybrid guard Donovan Mitchell could be trade targets for the Lakers for similar reasons.

Should the Lakers keep the pick, it could be with an eye toward the future. Prospects such as USC guard Isaiah Collier, the No. 1 high school recruit in the Class of 2023, should be available in that range. G League Ignite forward Ron Holland, once a projected top-3 pick, is another interesting possibility.

Why Would the Pelicans Wait?

If the Pelicans decide to take the Lakers’ 2025 pick, they may anticipate James leaving in free agency. In that scenario, they’ll likely land a top-10 pick from L.A. It’s up in the air at this juncture whether James stays or goes. However, Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin has familiarity with James’ thinking from his days as the Cavs’ general manager.

Each time James has left a franchise, he’s cited concerns about the organization’s lack of future flexibility or their ability to win a championship as the reason. The Lakers are projected to be $79 million over the cap next season. They only have five first-round picks between the upcoming draft and 2030. Last but not least, James has only been to the NBA Finals once since signing with L.A. in 2018.


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