Report: Lakers trade for No. 35 pick in NBA Draft

The Lakers are coming off the bench and joining the NBA Draft tonight.

ESPN was first to report that the Lakers have traded for the No. 35 pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for cash and a 2028 second-round pick. The swap puts the Lakers in position to get a 2022 talent near the top of the second round, getting younger – one of general manager Rob Pelinka’s stated goals for the offseason.

The Lakers previously traded their 2022 picks in the 2019 deal for Anthony Davis, which helped them get the 2020 championship but has also limited their options for roster building three years later.

The front office has recently found success in the 20s and 30s in the draft, including Kyle Kuzma (27) and Josh Hart (30). Talen Horton-Tucker (46) is another late-draft player who stuck, while the Lakers have also developed undrafted players such as Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves.

Most of the prospects who attended predraft workouts are projected to be selected either below 35 or undrafted entirely. Some of the more highly rated prospects to pass through El Segundo: Colorado’s Jabari Walker (son of former Laker Samaki Walker), Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Lofton Jr., Purdue’s Trevion Williams and Gran Canaria’s Khalifa Diop. The Lakers also held a private workout with Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler, who appears in the 20s and 30s in most draft rankings.

The Lakers have just eight players under contract for next season with four already locked in: LeBron James, Kendrick Nunn, Davis and Horton-Tucker. Russell Westbrook has a $47.1 million option that he’s widely expected to exercise. Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel all have team options.

The draft starts Thursday at 5 p.m.

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