The Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning NBA champions but, despite having LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading them, aren’t positioned for long-term success in the way you would.
This is, in part, because LeBron will be turning 36-years-old shortly after the start of the 2020-21 season. It’s also because every single rotation player the Lakers had last season outside of LeBron is currently set to become a free agent by 2021.
There’s a definite possibility that they’re simply trying to position themselves to make a splash free agent signing in 2021 though, as that’s the offseason that will see the contracts of players like Giannis Antetokounmpo expire. Even without making a single blockbuster move, they would have the financial flexibility needed to reassemble a championship-level roster.
That said, the Lakers do have a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft that will aid them in both maintaining financial flexibility and adding young legs to an older team.
2020 NBA Draft Picks
|No. 28 overall|
Lakers Draft Needs
Adding youth to the roster with such a short turnaround between the 2020 NBA Finals and the 2020-21 season will be necessary, as older players like LeBron and Rajon Rondo may take games off early in the season for load management.
However, Los Angeles doesn’t need a prospect that plays any particular position, so they can enter draft night with a ‘best player available’ mentality and be better off for it. On a team with James as the centerpiece though, adding a prospect that thrives as a 3-point specialist, perimeter defender or shot-creator would be the best fit.
2020 NBA Draft Prospect Watchlist
|No. 28 overall|
|PG Cole Anthony, North Carolina|
|F Jaden McDaniels, Washington|
|PG Nico Mannion, Arizona|
|G Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech|
|PG Malachi Flynn, San Diego St.|
What The Mocks Are Saying
|The Ringer||Malachi Flynn (No. 28)|
|The Athletic||Malachi Flynn (No. 28)|
|USA TODAY Sports||Malachi Flynn (No. 28)|
|CBS Sports||Cassius Winston (No. 28)|
|The Score||Malachi Flynn (No. 28)|