Potential 2013 NBA Draft Targets LA Lakers Must Consider

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2013

Potential 2013 NBA Draft Targets LA Lakers Must Consider

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    The Los Angeles Lakers hold one pick in June's NBA draft, and it's a second-round selection that comes at No. 48 overall. 

    The Lakers may be able to find a quality player if they remain at pick No. 48, but there isn't thought to be immense amounts of first-round talent in this year's draft class. 

    With that being the case, there remains a chance that the Lakers could sneak into Round 1 and obtain a difference-maker who could immediately help fill a need.. 

    Throughout the following slideshow, several players will be examined based on projected draft positions and where the Lakers would need to find themselves in order to select a given prospect. 

     

    Note: All statistics courtesy of DraftExpress unless noted otherwise. 

Trade into Round 1: Reggie Bullock

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are in need of depth on the wings, which would make Reggie Bullock an ideal fit were they were to trade into the bottom-third of Round 1.

    Bullock didn't light it up from a scoring standpoint, but that's not to say that he isn't an effective and efficient scorer.

    During his junior season, Bullock converted on 42.9 percent of his threes and 47.6 percent of his field-goal attempts. 

    At 6'7'', Bullock has the length and athleticism to be a disruptive perimeter defender. 

    The Lakers had arguably the league's worst bench a season ago, and moving up to acquire a player of Bullock's caliber would be a major upgrade for a second unit that's in desperate need of energy and outside scoring. 

Trade into Round 1: Tim Hardaway, Jr.

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    If the Los Angeles Lakers want to trade up for a quality perimeter talent, Tim Hardaway, Jr. could be a more realistic option. 

    Hardaway is currently projected to be drafted at the back end of the first round, which would make the price of moving up in the draft managable for the Lakers. 

    On a Michigan team that advanced to the national championship game in April, Hardaway flashed his athleticism on the perimeter and proved that he has the body capable to play as a 2 or an undersized 3 at the next level. 

    A reliable outside shooter (35.8 percent from distance during his junior season), Hardaway is also capable of creating his own shot, converting on 48.1 percent of his two-point shots last year. While an explosive finisher on the offensive end, Hardaway is also capable of contributing on the defensive end of the floor.

    Although he's not bursting with upside, Hardaway is a mature, proven commodity who will be able to help a contender immediately. 

Trade Up in Round 2: C.J. Leslie

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    If the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to acquire a well-rounded talent at forward, they could do worse than moving up in the second round to acquire N.C. State's C.J. Leslie. 

    Leslie was productive during all three seasons as a member of the Wolfpack. As a junior, he posted averages of 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game during his final collegiate campaign. 

    Although Leslie isn't the most polished offensive player, he's a dynamic athlete with size (nearly 6'9'', 209 pounds) who could provide a spark off of the bench. 

    With the Lakers sorely in need of energy players, Leslie fits the bill. 

    The team will be searching for a forward to replace Antawn Jamison, and while Leslie can't quite stretch defenses the way Jamison could, he would be a nice addition to the squad. 

Round 2: Deshaun Thomas

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    Keeping with the theme of versatile swingmen, here's one the Los Angeles Lakers could feasibly acquire if they hold onto the 18th pick in the second round. 

    Deshaun Thomas led the Ohio State Buckeyes in scoring last season, tallying 19.8 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting. 

    Thomas is a dynamic talent in that he can stretch defenses, but he's also strong enough to finish around the basket. 

    Although he's not much of a post player, Thomas is quite adept at facing up inside of 12 feet and knocking down jumpers over defenders. 

    A 50.1 percent shooter from inside the arc and a 34.4 percent shooter from beyond it, Thomas possesses the versatility the Lakers are looking for in a small forward. 

Round 2: Seth Curry

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    Like his father Dell and his brother Stephen, Seth Curry is a three-point marksman. 

    During his senior season at Duke, Curry hit on 43.8 percent of his threes and averaged 17.5 points per game. 

    However, Curry's stellar senior season has not moved him up draft boards, as there's the belief among many NBA observers that the undersized shooting guard could go undrafted. 

    While Curry is adept at scoring off the catch and off the dribble, his 6'2'', 185-pound frame isn't doing him any favors. 

    Without any natural point guard ability and too small to play shooting guard in the pros, Curry will need to convince teams that he'll be able to make adjustments to his game at the next level.

    Should the Los Angeles Lakers stick around at pick No. 48, Curry will undoubtedly be available. In need of reliable perimeter scoring, the Lakers could do worse than gambling on bringing the youngest Curry to Hollywood. 

Round 2: Isaiah Canaan

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    The Los Angeles Lakers may have plenty of depth at point guard, but they soon may be in desperate need of it. 

    Steve Blake and Chris Duhon each have contracts that expire at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season while Steve Nash will be 40 years old and at the tail end of a Hall of Fame career. 

    With that established, it would be prudent of the Lakers front office to begin collecting young backcourt pieces in preparation for an overhaul. 

    One way to jump-start the process would be to select Murray State's Isaiah Canaan in the second round. 

    Canaan led the Racers with averages of 21.8 points and 4.3 assists during his senior season and established himself as one of the country's best score-first point guards. 

    As the point guard position continues to undergo a revolution in the NBA, Canaan could be a perfect fit for the Lakers. 

    Now, more than ever, point guards are required to be dynamic scorers as well as efficient distributors, and Canaan (who shot 37.1 percent from three and 42.9 percent from the field last season) fits that mold.