The speculation by those who sweat the draft has centered on the Lakers taking a power forward in the first round and a guard in the second, as that is where the organizational needs are. Kupchak said this week, however, that he intended to fill those gaps through free agency.
"I wouldn't categorize it for the [draft] picks," he said.
That being said, Shaquille O'Neal turned 31 a couple months back, Robert Horry had a poor season and hasn't had next year's option exercised, Mark Madsen and Samaki Walker are free agents, and the only power forward the Lakers are sure will be back is Slava Medvedenko.
So, there is some wisdom in long, hard looks at Malick Badiane (6 feet 11, Senegal), Jason Keep (6-11, San Diego), Zaur Pachulia (6-11, Republic of Georgia), Kendrick Perkins (6-11, Texas prep), Sofoklis Schortsanitis (6-10, Greece), and David West (6-9, Xavier) in the first round, then someone smaller â€” say, Troy Bell (6-1, Boston College), Steve Blake (6-3, Maryland), Carl English (6-5, Hawaii), Travis Hansen (6-6, Brigham Young), Josh Howard (6-6, Wake Forest), Luke Walton (6-9, Arizona) or Mo Williams (6-2, Alabama) â€” in the second.