Lakers Rumors: Latest Updates Going into the Draft
There's never a dull moment in Tinseltown.
Just as we thought the Los Angeles Lakers had eliminated themselves from owning a first-round draft choice, rumors have begun to swirl surrounding L.A.'s involvement in the first round.
How we assumed this wouldn't happen might be even more fascinating than the fact that it's happening.
As for what is being said and what could happen, the best way to explain the situation is to say you should expect anything. Draft night promises to deliver some shocks, awes, disappointments and, most of all, Los Angeles Lakers rumors.
Here's a list of what you should be looking out for.
Lakers Hope to Trade Up
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The 2012 NBA draft has started with a bang!
By started, of course, I'm talking about the fact that we're still over 24 hours away and the Los Angeles Lakers are already making a great deal of noise.
Oh, the glory of Tinseltown.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in two Baylor alum.
To make sure that they are in place to select one of the two players with so much upside, the Lakers have reportedly expressed interest in trading up.
As always, the Lakers are the team to watch come draft night.
Lakers Love Perry Jones III
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Perry Jones III is one of the most confusing prospects available. He has top-pick talent, elite athleticism, limitless potential and the size and versatility to play any position from small forward to center.
Unfortunately, he has the Pau Gasol bug, which may be why the Lakers are so interested in him, according to Amico.
PJ3 is passive, shies away from contact and often finds himself relying on his teammates when he should be taking over. Nevertheless, Jones III offers the Lakers what they need. It would be foolish to pass up on an opportunity to take him at a low cost.
The question is, do the Lakers have enough assets to get the deal done?
That Other Baylor Guy Works, Too...
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If Perry Jones III is out of the team's reach, rumor has it the Lakers will pursue his college teammate Quincy Miller.
With Matt Barnes hitting free agency and likely beyond Los Angeles' thin price range, the Lakers could certainly use a lengthy athlete as a swingman. Miller would provide just that and more, as many scouts have compared his upside to that of Kevin Durant. Whether or not he'll reach that level is debatable, of course, but hardly out of the question.
With a need to add youth, athleticism and explosiveness to an aging lineup, Miller may be the best possible fit.
Metta World Peace Being Shopped for Pick
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How will the Los Angeles Lakers acquire Quincy Miller or Marquis Teague? For one, they could attempt to include Metta World Peace in deal, according to Amico.
The embattled Lakers wingman remains an elite perimeter defender, but simply can't provide the Lakers with what they truly need at the position. He's an erratic shooter with a hero's mentality and it would benefit the Lakers to rid themselves of his consistent headaches.
For a different and likely younger team, World Peace's veteran status and championship pedigree would pay dividends. MWP just doesn't have anyone to lead in Los Angeles, that's all.
Pau Gasol to Wizards for Third Pick?
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In return, the Lakers would receive the third overall draft choice; a position that could see L.A. pick up either of the Baylor bunch or this year's prized four Thomas Robinson.
Amico offers insight as to what could go down.
If the Cavs are able to move up and nab Beal at No. 2, there’s talk the Lakers would be willing to make life easy for the Wizards and help them move out of the third spot. It would likely take power forward Pau Gasol. Far-fetched for now, but don’t be surprised if it’s something that’s explored in the right situation.
Right now, the Los Angeles Lakers should be watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with a hawk's eye. This could change the Lakers franchise in a major way.
Just don't expect it to occur.
Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards are tied up financially. While swapping Pau Gasol for a draft pick and player of equal financial value may seem ideal, the Lakers are unlikely to take on such a lofty contract with such minimal reward.
A nice thought, but an unlikely occurrence.
Marquis Teague on the Lakers' Radar
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The Los Angeles Lakers' hot pursuit of a franchise point guard may come to a close on draft night.
Kentucky star Marquis Teague is on the team's radar, according to Amico. For those who believe this to be an impossibility, don't forget how much the Lakers love a champion.
Teague is a true burner who is lethal in the open court. He gets to the basket as quick as any player in the nation, and improved his half-court penetration skills as the season progressed. He also displayed at the draft combine that his jump shot has improved, offering the Lakers yet another quality they lack.
This may be a tough pick to pull off, but as the Lakers have taught us time after time, never say never.
Lakers Like Australian Big Man
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According to Joe Pierik of The Sydney Morning Herald, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the many teams who worked out Australian center Aleks Maric.
While his name may not offer Lakers fans much excitement, he is the Australian national team's starting five.
That is, an honor once held by elite center Andrew Bogut.
Maric's draft stock is questionable, as most have yet to hear his name. This may open the door for the Lakers to select Maric with the 60th overall draft choice and avoid any trade at all; a scenario that fans should love.
Adding the 27-year-old Maric would bring further depth to a growing frontcourt and would make Pau Gasol that much more expendable.