The 2011 NBA Draft begins on June 23 and, as a result, a bevy of draft rumors are beginning to present themselves. One of those rumors specify that the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to trade up into the first round. As of now, Los Angeles owns four picks, all of those in the second round, and although there are plenty of sleepers for Los Angeles to acquire with their second round picks, it seems that the Lakers would prefer to have at least one first round selection to use come draft day.
The team has a plethora of assets to possibly move into the first round, Shannon Brown and defensive specialist Matt Barnes to name a few. Based on their performances with the Lakers, a few teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets and possibly the San Antonio Spurs could be interested in sacrificing their first round selections.
If Los Angeles gains a first round pick, I believe Nolan Smith could be an option for the squad. The Duke point guard will not blow anyone away with one specific skill, however he possesses one of the better all-around skill sets in the 2011 NBA Draft class. Los Angeles’ recent point guard deficiencies have been well documented as veteran guard Derek Fisher has regressed in the past few seasons and I strongly believe that the Lakers will attempt to draft a point guard Thursday evening. Smith would bring much effort and extra leadership to the team and I think that Smith will surprise many critics and become a serviceable NBA point guard for 10 to 12 seasons at least.