Barring another unforeseen shakeup atop the 2014 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers won't have a prayer of pegging either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker to be Kobe Bryant's running mate/successor with the No. 7 pick.
What they will have, though, are a number of other solid options.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford, L.A. has targeted Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Kentucky's Julius Randle as its top two options. Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Elfrid Payton, Zach LaVine and Doug McDermott have all been mentioned in connection with the Purple and Gold at one point or another. Dante Exum, who's spent the past few months living and working out in Southern California, might've been a more realistic choice had he not all but locked himself into the top five.
And now that Joel Embiid's out of the mix to be the top pick after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot, the Cameroonian-turned-Kansas Jayhawk may well fall into the Lakers' lap.
That swath of young studs should be enough to settle the nerves of Laker Nation over their likelihood of landing a star as recompense for the team's miserable 2013-14 campaign. So, too, should the last decade's worth of players taken in that "lucky" seventh slot.