The L.A. Lakers find themselves on odd ground this year, as they have a top 10 draft pick for the first time in quite a while after making it into the lottery. No doubt they will use that pick for trade advantage, which will hopefully get them turned around next year.
There has been much speculation about them trading the pick, but this draft class is very deep and they have an eye on many of the players they will still be in the mix to select with the 7th pick. The Lakers are probably too far back to get someone like Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, but players like Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Kyle Anderson or Nik Stauskas could still be available. They are very excited about Exum, but overall the Lakers desperately want an impact player with the pick, and they likely will get one and that could be the first of many moves for the franchise as they try and build things for next year.
During the 2013-14 season when Steve Nash was injured, some reports had the Toronto Raptors interested in acquiring Nash since he is from Canada and approaching the end of his career. The Raptors ended up having a great season where Kyle Lowry increased his stock. He is set to be a free agent, so a sign and trade for Nash could be an option if he opts not to return. Lowry had his best career season in 2013-14 and led the Raptors to the playoffs and a division title and the team is hoping they can retain him, but are hesitant to give him much more than the $6 million he made last year.
If the draft pick does get traded away, and isn't used in a deal with Toronto for Lowry, there have been rumors the Lakers may deal it to the Sixers for Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. According to ESPN, the Sixers are considering a trade and are very interested in Exum.
"The Philadelphia 76ers are Exum fans as well and if Wiggins is off the board, he's in the mix. They think Exum and Carter-Williams could play together in the backcourt, though it would not be a very good shooting tandem. I think the more obvious fit comes if they trade Carter-Williams, an idea I'm told they have bounced around, " ESPN's Chad Ford writes.
Exum seems to continue to become more and more popular even though not many have seen much of him on the court. The Orlando Magic have also been rumored to be very high on the combo guard with the prospect of pairing him with Victor Oladipo in the backcourt. Exum is considered a point guard by most heading into the draft, but many believe he may be more of a shooting guard in the NBA, making him very useful, and that much more interesting on draft day.