The 2016 NBA Draft is less than a week away and there are many speculations about the event in Brooklyn, New York. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in acquiring the top five pick and they are reportedly open to dealing D’Angelo Russell.
The Lakers already have the second overall pick and assuming the Philadelphia 76ers draft Ben Simmons first, they will end up with Brandon Ingram. However, ESPN basketball connoisseur Chad Ford mentioned in an appearance on SportsCenter that the Lakers are worried about Ingram’s readiness for the NBA.
Ford noted that the Lakers may pass on Ingram and even trade D’Angelo Russell for another top five pick. He mentioned that prospects such as Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and Marquese Chriss are on the Lakers’ radar.
“I think we all assume that Ingram’s going to be the guy at No. 2, but they’ve brought in Marquese Chriss, they’ve taken a long look at him. They’ve brought in Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and while I still believe that it will be Ingram at No. 2, the Lakers have explored other options,” Ford said via CBS Sports.
“I think more likely the Lakers are trying to pick up another pick in this draft in the top five and the guy that they have that they can shop is D’Angelo Russell, a guy who was their No. 2 pick in the draft last year but burned some bridges in the locker room,” he added.
Nonetheless, these are all just rumors based on Ford’s assessment but it’s easy to think that the Lakers are planning something big for the 2016 NBA Draft. The remaining top five picks belong to the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to Ben Beecken of FanSided, the Timberwolves can acquire Russell from the Lakers in exchange for the fifth overall pick and a couple of players. Some players Minnesota can offer in the trade include Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad.
Russell has a ton of potential but his antics late in the season involving Nick Young has damaged his reputation in the locker room. He’s still very young but the experience he went through his rookie season may cause him to mature for his second year in the NBA.
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