The Los Angeles Lakers will likely look to use their 2023 NBA Draft picks to get more immediate help for LeBron James and Co.
Los Angeles is coming off a surprise appearance in the Western Conference Finals. It is in win-now mode.
With that said, general manager Rob Pelinka and the front office have in the past pushed back against sending multiple draft assets for proven commodities. It’s an attempt to find a happy medium between short-term contention and long-term relevance.
We’ll know soon enough whether the Lakers plan to use both of the selections they have in the 2023 NBA Draft. But for now, we provide a Los Angeles Lakers draft preview with five total targets for the team.
Los Angeles Lakers picks in 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, 47th pick
Los Angeles Lakers targets in 2023 NBA Draft
Jalen Hood-Schifino, guard, Indiana
Austin Reaves is set to 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 this all mean for Los Angeles? It makes perfect sense to target a two-guard with the 17th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Hood-Schifino might actually be the best fit. The 6-foot-4 former Indiana star can play both guard positions. He’s absolutely elite off the dribble and boasts a solid mid-range game (45% shooting from two-point range last season). While Hood-Schifino needs to improve his perimeter game, he has the tools to crack the rotation of a contender early in his career. That could be a focal point of the Los Angeles Lakers should they hold on to this first-round pick.
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Dereck Lively, center, Duke
Anthony Davis could use more help inside. Outside of his injury-plagued ways, the Lakers relied on the All-Star too much on the boards in the playoffs. That came out in droves during Los Angeles’ sweep at the hands of 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 young man has not developed much of an offensive game. He also underperformed as a freshman for Duke. But the fit is here given his defensive ability and prowess in the pick-and-roll. It would make too much sense for Los Angeles to pick up Lively at 17 if he is still available.
Colby Jones, guard, Xavier
Pro-ready. That could very well be something the Lakers look for in the first round of the NBA Draft. If so, Jones makes too much sense. The 6-foot-5 guard from Xavier can guard all three perimeter positions on defense. He’s already a lockdown wing defender in that regard.
As a Junior this past season, Jones also upped his game on offense. He averaged 15.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists. As with Hood-Schifino, there’s issues with perimeter shooting. But that’s what you’re going to get at this juncture in the first round.
Related: Top 100 2023 NBA Draft prospects
Drew Timme, forward, Gonzaga
The Los Angeles Lakers’ defense wasn’t an issue down the stretch last season. Instead, it was about finding consistent scoring on a nightly basis behind the big two. Why not exhaust a second-round pick on a player in Timme who struggles defensively, but could be a great scoring option off the bench?
The 6-foot-10 Timme might be the most accomplished college player entering the 2023 NBA Draft. Last season for Gonzaga saw him average 21.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 62% from the field. He’d be a tremendous option behind Davis off the bench if he were to crack the rotation early.
Jaime Jaquez Jr., wing, UCLA
The Lakers could very well opt to stay local with their second-round pick. A first-team All-American in 2022-23 and three-time All-Pac-12 performer, Jaquez could bring a lot to the table as a deep bench option.
Primarily, his ability on the defensive end of the court could give the 6-foot-6 wing some initial playing time at the NBA level. He can guard four different positions on the court. Imagine that lockdown defense off the Lakers’ bench.
Los Angeles Lakers mock draft
- 1st round, 17th pick: Colby Jones, guard, Xavier
- 2nd round, 47th pick: Drew Timme, forward, Gonzaga