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2018 NBA Draft: Lakers, Clippers Make Their Picks

The Lakers took a NCAA tournament hero with their first pick while the Clippers made two selections in the top 15

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    2018 NBA Draft: Lakers, Clippers Make Their Picks
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    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Moritz Wagner reacts after being drafted 25th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    The 2018 NBA Draft took place Thursday and LA's two teams stayed busy, making five combined selections on what became a wild night around professional basketball.

    The Lakers selected former University of Michigan center Moritz Wagner with the No. 25 overall pick, their only one in the first round. Wagner gained national attention in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament last April, leading Michigan to the national championship game.

    Wagner's main skills are on offense, as he averaged 14.6 points per game last season. He also made 39 percent of his shots from three-point range, averaging almost five attempts from deep per game.

    Wagner is the latest in a long line of Lakers big men drafted in recent years. The Lakers drafted forward Julius Randle no. 7 overall in 2014, and have taken a frontcourt player near the end of the first round in every draft since. They picked forward Larry Nance Jr. in 2015, center Ivica Zubac in 2016, forward Kyle Kuzma in 2017 and now Wagner.

    President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka face some difficult decisions in that area of the roster. Kuzma made the 2017-18 NBA all-rookie first team while Nance was dealt to the Cleveland Caveliers last February in a trade that included the pick used on Wagner.

    Randle and center Brook Lopez, the Lakers' starting frontcourt at the end of last season, will hit restricted and unrestricted free agency, respectively, next month.

    The Lakers also made two selections in the second round. They selected the rights to Isaac Bonga, an 18-year-old forward out of Germany, with the 39th overall pick. They have the option to let Bonga keep playing overseas next season.

    Johnson and Pelinka took a third European, University of Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, with the 47th overall selection. Mykhailiuk is a sharpshooter from the three-point line, having made 44% of his shots from that distance last season.

    The Clippers entered the night with back-to-back selections at nos. 12 and 13, having acquired the former pick in the trade that sent superstar forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. Rumors swirled that the Clippers might use those picks to trade into the top 10 selections, but they instead made a much more minor trade.

    Their front office, which includes Lakers legend Jerry West, dealt the 12th pick and two future second round picks to the Charlotte Hornets. In exchange, the Clippers got the no. 11 pick, University of Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

    The former Wildcat excelled in the pick and roll during his one season at Kentucky. He gives the Clippers their first long term point guard option since Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017.

    The Clippers then selected Boston College guard Jerome Robinson with the 13th pick. Robinson was a "favorite" of West, according to Sports Illustrated reporter Jake Fischer. He made a name for himself as a fantastic scorer, averaging over 20 points per game and over 48% from three-point range.

    One of biggest nights of the calendar year in the NBA kicked off with selections from two of the Lakers' and Clippers' division rivals. The Phoenix Suns took University of Arizona center DeAndre Ayton first overall, while the Sacramento Kings picked Duke University forward Marvin Bagley III second overall.

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