“My philosophy is that any time we draft a player for the Lakers, I want him to finish his career here”


The LA Lakers have made some great picks in the NBA draft over the past decade. Jesse Buss is the Lakers’ director of scouting and has said what he’s looking for in a player. He also shared how he has found gems in the second round of the draft.

In an interview with Mike Trudell of NBA.com, Buss discussed his recent history of draft picks. He also talked about finding undrafted gems such as Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves. As much as possible, he wants players who could play for the Lakers for the rest of their career.

“We want whoever is going to be the best long-term player for the Lakers,” Buss said. “My philosophy is that any time we draft a player for the Lakers, I want him to finish his career here. I want him to make the case that he’s a player here for the long run.”


Trudell praised Buss for his track record of finding good players late in the first round and early in the second. Buss has been responsible for unearthing players such as Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Jordan Clarkson and Talen Horton-Tucker.

However, all the aforementioned players are no longer part of the LA Lakers. Kuzma was part of the package sent to the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook. Nance and Clarkson were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Josh Hart was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade.

Zubac was shipped to crosstown rivals LA Clippers in 2019, and Horton-Tucker was acquired by the Utah Jazz in the Patrick Beverley deal. Despite the Lakers not having these players any more, they are all still in the NBA. The Lakers also won the 2020 championship on the backbone of their past draft picks.


Who did Lakers select in 2022 NBA draft?

Max Christie at the 2022 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
Max Christie at the 2022 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

The LA Lakers did not have any picks in the 2022 NBA draft. However, they were able to acquire the 35th overall selection from the Orlando Magic in exchange for a future second-round pick and cash considerations. The Lakers went on to draft Max Christie out of Michigan State.

Jesse Buss reckons Christie could turn into a solid role player who can shoot and defend on an NBA level. The Lakers would need to help the 19-year-old shooting guard develop and be patient with him. He averaged 9.3 points and shot 31.7% from beyond the arc in his lone season at Michigan State.

“We felt like getting a guy like that at his size, his length, his athleticism, having shown flashes of a solid mid-range game,” Buss said. “A little bit of a streaky shooter, but we like his mechanics; we like a lot of things about his shot. We think he can continue to improve that and become a pretty good shooter in this league.”


In addition to Christie, the Lakers also brought in two undrafted players – Cole Swider and Scotty Pippen Jr. – and signed them to two-way contracts. Swider is a sharpshooter from Syracuse, while Pippen Jr. is a guard with an NBA pedigree out of Vanderbilt.

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