Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Draft

3 players Lakers could target by trading into the NBA Draft second round

Mar 6, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Ron Harper Jr. (24) on the court before the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly looking to trade into the second round of the draft. Who could they be targeting to help them get back to contention?

The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a roster makeover with precious few assets to get it done. Cap space is a fantasy and trading Russell Westbrook (which they’ve broadcast they are unlikely to do) probably means sending out more assets than they return. To top it all off, the Lakers don’t have a single pick in this year’s draft — their first-round pick is owed to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade and their second-round pick is headed to the San Antonio Spurs.

However, picking up a second-round pick isn’t usually a huge challenge and there are rumors that the Lakers could be after the No. 44 pick from the Atlanta Hawks or the No. 46 pick from the Detroit Pistons. Assuming the Lakers can grab one of those two picks, what win-now talents could they add to the roster?

What win-now players could the Lakers target in the second round of the NBA Draft?

3. Ron Harper Jr., Wing, Rutgers

Harper Jr. comes with an NBA pedigree and, as one of the older prospects in this class, the experience to step right in and fill some minutes. He averaged 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game as a senior for Rutgers, shooting 39.8 percent from beyond the arc on 5.3 attempts per game. At 6-foot-5.5 with an enormous 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, Harper Jr. has the size to defend multiple positions and he’s a solid shooter and decision-maker. He may not have as much upside as other prospects available in this range but he could be valuable to Los Angeles as an immediately playable 3-and-D wing.

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