NBA Draft 2012: The LA Lakers and 7 Teams That Must Make a Deal for Picks
While the NBA Finals are still going on for the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, the other 28 teams are preparing for the NBA draft, set to take place on June 28.
Before the draft takes place, we could see a ton of movement as several teams are looking to move their first round picks.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Hornets (then No. 10 pick), Houston Rockets and plenty more teams are looking to deal one more more picks in this draft.
With that being said, there are several teams that must make a deal to get into the first round, or possibly get an extra pick.
Here's a look at seven of those teams.
7. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs dealt the last pick in the first round to Golden State in the Richard Jefferson deal, but could benefit from getting back into the first round.
Even after a tremendous 2011-12 season, the Spurs Big Three will be a year older next year and could stand to continue to add youth to their already deep rotation.
They've done well doing that the past few years, including last year's first round selection of Kawhi Leonard.
Continuing to get younger is a must, especially with an eye towards the future.
6. Utah Jazz
The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the No. 17 pick in the draft, thanks to Utah making the playoffs.
However trying to move back into the first round would be big for Utah. They are a good young team, but getting their hands on a point guard for the future could be big for the Jazz.
With several lottery teams looking to move out, Utah could potentially swing a deal with their eyes on Weber State's Damian Lillard or North Carolina's Kendall Marshall.
A good young point guard is the missing piece from this team and with a thin point guard class in what is otherwise a very deep draft, the Jazz could benefit by aggressively attempting to move into at least the middle of the first round.
5. Orlando Magic
The Magic have the No. 19 pick already, but adding another pick or two couldn't hurt as Orlando has a lot of holes to fill and must acquire quality young talent.
Does that mean we could finally see a Dwight Howard trade?
It's possible as he would be their biggest trade chip, but one way or another the Magic should look to acquire a lottery pick.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
Coming off their best season in recent memory, one that include a first round playoff series victory, the Clippers need to keep heading in the right direction.
The Boston Celtics own their first round pick, but the Clippers could benefit by adding a legit young 2-guard that can not only shoot the rock, but play defense as well.
They also need depth in all areas, so adding a first round pick could solve a lot of their current problems.
3. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets dealt what ended up being the No. 6 pick at the trade deadline for Gerald Wallace in what still is a puzzling move.
They no longer have a lottery pick to attempt to acquire Howard and as a result Deron Williams could leave as a free agent as well.
If all that happens, Brooklyn is pretty much starting over and acquiring a first round pick could be a big part of that rebuilding process.
2. New York Knicks
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald has a lot on his plate right now.
He's waiting on the decision from the arbitrator concerning the Bird rights of Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak then must figure out how to add a point guard, and both backcourt and frontcourt depth with very little money to spend.
That's assuming the decision goes in their favor.
If it doesn't, Grunwald will have no money to spend after having to use his mid-level exception just to try and keep Lin.
The Houston Rockets currently own their pick (No. 16), but Grunwald must find a way to get into the first round and add a key piece for 2013.
That may be the only way he can do it because if the decision goes against the players union, there will be a lot of guys on the Knicks bench playing for the veterans minimum.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers started the season with a pair of first round picks and after deadline deals that netted them Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill, the Lakers are on the outside looking in at the first round.
General manager Mitch Kupchak must make this team younger and more athletic.
This draft has plenty of great athletes and the Lakers would be beneficial to get one, preferably a point guard or small forward that can contribute.
Until they get more athletic, this Lakers team as is won't be able to compete with the athletic teams in the NBA like the Oklahoma City Thunder.