Mar 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak watches the LA Tennis Challenge held at UCLA

Kupchak: Lakers leaning to select best player available in draft

The Los Angeles Lakers are in an interesting situation in regards to the upcoming NBA Draft.

With only five players on the roster going into next season, one having a player option, and two likely to be out of the league in the next two years, the Lakers have a need at every position. Usually teams with a top-10 pick draft whichever player fills the biggest hole on the roster, but according to Kupchak, the Lakers may select whomever they feel is the best player available when their pick is on the clock.

While I often shun lottery teams who draft the best player over the best fit, it makes a lot of sense for the Los Angeles Lakers. Whoever they chose will be a building block as they look to bounce back and return to the elite team they’ve always been. Based on their draft position, that player may be Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, or Aaron Gordon, all players who have been categorized as second-tier picks.

Selecting the best player will also give the Lakers a chance to gauge trade value as teams approach the board. Each of the players are likely to be good NBA players, but if a team approach Kupchak and company with a trade package that’ll better the Lakers for the future, there’s a big chance they accept and run with a team similar to last years as they prepare for next years draft.

The Lakers hold the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers Mitch Kupchak NBA NBA Draft 2014

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