The Los Angeles Lakers will likely look to use their 2023 NBA Draft picks for more immediate help for LeBron James and Co.
Los Angeles is coming off a surprise appearance in the Western Conference Finals. It’s in win mode now.
That being said, GM Rob Pelinka and the front office have in the past refused to submit multiple draft assets for tested products. It’s an attempt to find a happy medium between short-term containment and long-term relevance.
We’ll find out soon if the Lakers plan to use the two picks they have in the 2023 NBA Draft. But for now, we’re offering a Los Angeles Lakers draft preview with five total targets for the team.
Related: Sportsnaut’s Updated 2023 NBA Mock Draft
Los Angeles Lakers picks in the 2023 NBA Draft
Here are the Los Angeles Lakers draft picks for the annual event in New York City on June 22.
- 1st round, 17th pick
- 2nd round, pick 47
Los Angeles Lakers goals in the 2023 NBA Draft
Jalen Hood-Schifino, guard, Indiana
Austin Reaves will become a restricted free agent. Lonnie Walker performed well at times in the playoffs. Malik Beasley was completely out of the Lakers’ late-season rotation. What does all this mean for Los Angeles? It makes a lot of sense to target a double guard with the 17th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Hood-Schifino might actually be the better option. The 6-foot-4 former Indiana star can play both guard positions. He is absolutely elite on the dribble and has a solid midrange game (45% shooting from 2-point range last season). While Hood-Schifino needs to improve her perimeter game, she has the tools to figure out a contender’s rotation early in her career. That could be a focal point for the Los Angeles Lakers if they hang on to this first-round pick.
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Dereck Lively, center, Duke
Anthony Davis could use more help inside. Outside of their injury-plagued ways, the Lakers relied too much on the All-Star on the boards in the playoffs. That came out en masse during the sweep of Los Angeles by Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
Enter into the equation a 7-foot-1 Lively who is already a force on the defensive glass. Sure, the youngster hasn’t developed much of an offensive game. He, too, underperformed as a Duke freshman. But the fit is here given his defensive ability and pick-and-roll prowess. It would make a lot of sense for Los Angeles to take Lively at 17 if he’s still available.
Colby Jones, guard, Xavier
Pro-ready. That very well could be something the Lakers look for in the first round of the NBA Draft. If so, Jones makes too much sense. Xavier’s 6-foot-5 guard can protect all three perimeter positions on defense. He’s already a tight wing defender in that regard.
As a junior last season, Jones also improved his offensive game. He averaged 15.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. As with Hood-Schifino, there are issues with shooting from the perimeter. But that’s what you’re going to get at this juncture in the first round.
Related: Top 100 Prospects of the 2023 NBA Draft
Drew Timme, forward, Gonzaga
The Los Angeles Lakers’ defense wasn’t a problem down the stretch last season. Instead, it was about finding a consistent score every night behind the big two. Why not drain a second-round pick on a guy like Timme who struggles defensively but could be a great scoring option off the bench?
The 6-foot-10 Timme might be the most successful college player entering the 2023 NBA Draft. Last season for Gonzaga he averaged 21.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists on 62% shooting from the field. He would be a tremendous option behind Davis off the bench if he were to break through the rotation early.
Jaime Jaquez Jr., wing, UCLA
The Lakers could very well opt to stay home with their second-round pick. A first-team All-American in 2022-23 and a three-time All-Pac-12, Jáquez could bring a lot to the table as a deep bench option.
Primarily, his ability on the defensive end of the floor could give the 6-foot-6 wing some starting playing time at the NBA level. He can guard four different positions on the court. Imagine that close defense off the Lakers bench.
Los Angeles Lakers Mock Draft
- 1st round, 17th pick: Colby Jones, guard, Xavier
- 2nd round, pick 47: Drew Timme, forward, Gonzaga