Los Angeles Lakers: 2019 NBA Draft Targets

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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a breather against the Denver Nuggets during the first half on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers 2018-2019 season was a disappointment. Despite having a talented roster which includes LeBron James, the Lakers fell below expectations. They finished the season with a 37-45 record.

The Lakers defied the odds and landed the fourth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. However, that is their only draft pick. Needless to say, their pick is pivotal to their plans. Who should the Lakers target? Let’s take a look at the Lakers’ possible selections.

NBA Draft Targets for the Los Angeles Lakers

Draft Needs

The Lakers have a talented core in place. However, they still have holes to fill. The Lakers biggest needs are three-point shooting and rebounding. The Lakers were 33.3 percent from three this season, which ranked them 29th in the NBA. They only made 10.3 three-pointers per game, which was tied for 20th in the NBA. The Lakers struggled to keep opponents off the boards. They finished the season with a -0.3 rebounding differential, which held them in the middle of the league.

Draft Targets

The Lakers have many options with the fourth pick. This draft is filled with talented players. Overall, these three players stand out:

 Darius Garland (Vanderbilt) 

The Lakers’ number one option should be Darius Garland. Garland is a very talented shooter, especially from deep. Garland ended his Freshman season shooting 47.8 percent from three. He is the shooter they desperately need. He will provide productive minutes off the Laker’s bench. A big downside is his experience. He only played in five games at Vanderbilt due to an MCL injury.

 De’Andre Hunter (Virginia) 

The Lakers’ second target should be De’Andre Hunter. Hunter is a 6’8” forward with an impressive wingspan. He had a terrific performance in the National Championship game, scoring 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds. He was rated as one of the elite defenders in college. Hunter is an efficient two-way player who will provide energy and maturity. Hunter must work on his shooting to become more effective in the NBA.

Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech)

Jarrett Culver is the dark horse of this year’s draft class. He has the tools to develop into a dangerous player in the NBA. Culver is one of the few players in this draft class that can create his own shot. Also, he was instrumental in Texas Tech’s dominant defensive performance last season. Culver proved to be a big-time player by stepping up in the second half of the Final Four and National Championship games. He must work on becoming more efficient. Despite his scoring abilities, he is inconsistent as a shooter.

Trade Bait?

The Lakers are one of the few teams in the NBA who can build a title-contending team through free agency. They have enough cap space to sign a top-tier free agent and re-sign key players. They could try trading the fourth pick. In return, the Lakers would get a combination of a later first round pick, an early second round pick, or a top-level player. For example, the New Orleans Pelicans could be a possible trade partner. The two could create a package that would include Anthony Davis and the fourth pick.

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