Lakers added two players through the NBA draft over the past week.
On Thursday, the team selected Kentucky forward
Julius Randle with the seventh overall pick. They also sent cash to the Washington Wizards for the rights to the 46th pick, guard Jordan Clarkson.
The Lakers toyed with
trading their pick leading up to the draft, but discussions with the Golden State Warriors for guard Klay Thompson went nowhere.
Randle was thrilled to be picked by the Lakers,
excited by the prospect of playing with Kobe Bryant. He also said he'd rather play against LeBron James than with him.
Free agency starts this coming week in July. Bryant will certainly need to help recruit but while the Lakers hope to land a top free agent like James -- that may be quite a long shot.
While an oddsmaking site had the Lakers with scant 40-1 odds of a winning a title, those
odds worsened to 60-1 after the Randle pick -- not necessarily a reflection on Randle but that the Laker didn't make a trade to bring in veteran talent.
Meanwhile, the Lakers seemed
quite happy that Randle fell to seven -- although it remains uncertain if he will play for the Lakers' summer league squad.
If the Lakers were to make a deal, trading
Steve Nash to open up additional cap space, the veteran point guard will receive a 15% bonus.
Nick Young opted out of his contract with the Lakers. Hoping to sway the unrestricted free agent, a fan launched a Nick Young "Stay" campaign.
Finally, Lakers owner/executive
Jeanie Buss recently recalled meeting Magic Johnson soon after his was drafted with the top overall pick in 1979.
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