Lakers Rumors: Latest on Anthony Davis Trade, Jarrett Culver and NBA Draft Plans

John HealyContributor IJune 10, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) participates in warm ups before an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

With the NBA draft less than two weeks away, there is still plenty of speculation on what the Los Angeles Lakers plan to do with their No. 4 pick, but it appears as if there are three likely outcomes:

They trade the pick along with other players to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis; they draft Texas Tech forward Jarrett Culver or they draft Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland. 

The Lakers made a failed bid at Davis at the trade deadline during the season, which Rajon Rondo recently told Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher affected the psyche of the team, both veterans and youngsters. The interest appears to still be there, but the Pelicans may choose to do business with someone else, particularly the Boston Celtics

According to Fletcher Mackel of WDSU New Orleans, the Pelicans want Celtics' 21-year-old forward Jayson Tatum, and Boston could be the likely landing spot for Davis. Mackel added a deal would likely be Tatum, Marcus Smart, another unnamed player and the No. 14 pick in the draft:

Fletcher Mackel @FletcherWDSU

NBA source (who I trust a lot) told me tonight he thinks Boston is landing spot for Anthony Davis. Says Tatum is player NOLA covets most. Tatum, Smart (who @PelicansNBA also really like), filler (Williams, Ojeyele or Yabusele) & at least pick #14 this year. I. Love. It! https://t.co/7Rd1taJYJJ

While the Lakers can offer a better pick, they likely cannot come up with an attractive package of players the way Boston can. 

Should they fail to make a trade for Davis, the Lakers are likely to choose between Culver and Garland.

Garland played just five games at Vanderbilt before a season-ending meniscus injury, but he left the NBA combine in Chicago early with the belief he was given a promise from a lottery team. Per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, multiple league executives believe it is either the Lakers or Phoenix Suns, who hold the sixth pick. 

Culver, a 6'5" forward, is also high on the Lakers' radar. Per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Los Angeles "really liked" Culver from his workout with the team earlier this month but a promise seems unlikely due to the possibility of still trading the pick to New Orleans:

Eric Pincus @EricPincus

@stevekylerNBA Lakers really liked Culver in his workout, don't see a promise, especially when the pick is available if the Pelicans want it. Not saying Culver over Garland but that was a serious look at JC

It is easy to see why the Lakers would give Culver a serious look. He helped lead Texas Tech to the NCAA tournament final before losing to Virginia, and he is considered one of the best defensive players in the draft and can certainly make an immediate impact. 

Plenty can still change with the Lakers between now and the draft on June 20, but for now, this is where they stand with their draft plans.