Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne reported the Lakers have engaged with two teams ahead of Thursday’s draft, though it’s unclear how far along talks have become.
The Lakers currently hold the Nos. 2 and 28 picks in the first round. They are widely expected to select UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the second pick, meaning they would likely attempt to use No. 28 and another asset to move up.
Finding a workable trade in this scenario will be the difficult part. If the Lakers are dead-set on Ball, they could make Jordan Clarkson or D’Angelo Russell available for lottery teams. Julius Randle is the only other young asset likely enticing enough packaged with No. 28 to get a team inside the lottery to consider a move.
Lakers president Magic Johnson has made Brandon Ingram untouchable. Johnson isn’t likely to change that stance for a pick that would amount to taking a value downgrade from Ingram, who struggled last season but was still the No. 2 overall pick.
Shelburne reported the Lakers are looking to add outside shooting and perimeter defense, two things the team hoped Ingram would provide when selecting him out of Duke.
Depending on how high they want to move up, players like Indiana’s OG Anunoby and Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell feel like the best potential late-lottery targets. Mitchell would be something of a natural replacement for Lou Williams, whom the Lakers traded at the deadline.