Lakers slowly eliminating one possibility before the draft

The Lakers probably won't trade the seventh overall selection before the draft.

It's never easy to predict the NBA draft, especially which players will be around when the Lakers pick tonight.

But one thing looks slightly more certain — they won't trade the seventh overall selection before the draft.

As of early this afternoon, the Lakers weren't sensing any momentum toward a trade, meaning they will likely choose from an assortment of amateur players when it's their turn to pick about 5 p.m. PDT.

Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are expected to be the top two picks. Two more intriguing names will probably be gone by the time the Lakers are up — point guard Dante Exum and power forward Noah Vonleh.

But there's a chance injured Kansas center Joel Embiid slides down to them.

Embiid was the apparent No. 1 pick in the draft a little more than a week ago until requiring surgery on a stress fracture in his foot that could sideline him part of next season ... if not longer.

If he's there when it's the Lakers' turn, they have a dilemma.

If Embiid's already taken, the Lakers might be looking at a pool of four people — power forwards Julius Randle of Kentucky and Aaron Gordon of Arizona, and point guards Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State and Elfrid Payton of Louisiana-Lafayette.

One of the above might be gone, narrowing the pool slightly.

Regardless, it would be the Lakers' highest pick since taking James Worthy with the No. 1 selection in 1982.

They had talks with Golden State last weekend to trade the pick for Klay Thompson, but the negotiations fell through when the Warriors couldn't reach a consensus on whether to keep or trade the up-and-coming shooting guard.

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