Draft day: Lakers start roster building for Lebron James-led second title run

With no selection in this year's draft, L.A. looks to free agency
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The Los Angeles Lakers barely had an opportunity to enjoy the team’s 17th NBA title before general manager Rob Pelinka, and head coach Frank Vogel had to turn their attention to the upcoming season.

Wednesday’s draft kicks off the start of roster building for NBA teams. Of course, the Lakers essentially made their selection for this year’s draft when they brokered a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending the team’s No. 28 pick and swingman Danny Green for sharp-shooting point guard Dennis Schroder.

I discussed how Schroder fits the Lakers here. The Thunder did not hold onto to Green for long, moving him in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to accumulate more picks.

Wednesday’s draft should be pretty quiet for the Lakers, although they could trade back into the second round if they see a player they like, as executed a season ago, selecting Talen Horton-Tucker with the No. 46 overall pick, who spent most of last season playing for the South Bay Lakers in the G-league.

Players I thought made sense for the Lakers at the end of the first round had they kept the No. 28 pick include Malachi Flynn, Nico Mannion and Isaiah Stewart.

More likely, the Lakers will stand pat during the draft and continue preparation for the start of free agency.

The first order of business for the Lakers is consummating a multi-year deal with Anthony Davis, who declined his $28.7 player option. After that, it’s seems reasonable the Lakers would take care of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who also declined his player option of $8.4 million.

Other players the Lakers have to make decisions on include free agents Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Jared Dudley, J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters, along with guys with player options that include Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee.

The Lakers can start negotiations with free agents on Friday at 3 p.m. local time. Players can sign contracts on Sunday just after 9 a.m. local time.

Until then, Pelinka and Vogel can work the phones and watch the draft, seeing if there’s another potential deal to be made that helps replenish the roster for another championship run next summer.