Los Angeles Lakers steal Dalton Knecht in 1st round as the NBA world reacts

The Los Angeles Lakers stole potential top-10 pick Dalton Knecht in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Dalton Knecht, Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of questions about what the Los Angeles Lakers would do in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft.

Would they trade the pick for a proven veteran to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis? Would Los Angeles trade down in an attempt to collect more assets for a blockbuster down the road?

With JJ Redick now set to man the bench next season and a lot of questions marks in Los Angeles, seemingly everything was on the table.

As the first round of the draft played out, Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht continued to fall down the board. The closer he got to the Lakers at 17, the less likely it was that general manager Rob Pelinka would trade out.

It did not take the Lakers long to select Knecht when he was still on the board with their pick.

ESPN had Knecht as their seventh-best prospect in the entire draft. This was an absolute steal for the Lakers in more ways than one.

  • Dalton Knecht stats (2023-24): 21.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 46% shooting, 40% 3-point range

“Knecht scored more prolifically in the SEC than he did the season before in the Big Sky — he averaged 21.7 points per game last season — and has been one of this draft’s fastest risers. He put up games of 40 and 37 points, respectively, against Kentucky and Purdue, and he was spectacularly consistent on the offensive end, stepping up in big moments all season long.”

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick

This is exactly what the Lakers needed. That is to say, spacing with the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster. Too often, they passed the ball out to open players out on the perimeter, only to see consistent misses. That will not be the case with Knecht moving foward.

Related: Grading each first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft

NBA world reacts to the Los Angeles Lakers stealing Dalton Knecht

Los Angeles Lakers' Dalton Knecht
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It goes without saying that the basketball world had its reactions to the Lakers stealing Knecht. Here are the best responses.

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