In an otherwise quiet and uneventful evening, the Lakers selected Duke forward Ryan Kelly with the 48th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, marking the sixth consecutive year they lacked a first-round pick.
The Lakers in recent seasons rarely worried about draft picks, knowing they only needed to retool a championship-caliber roster through minor tweaks and through inexpensive veteran signings. When it came to boosting those title aspirations, the Lakers willingly traded draft picks for more proven talent.
They shipped their first-round pick (19th overall) to the Cleveland Cavaliers because of last season’s Ramon Sessions trade. The Lakers also traded a flurry of draft picks, including a first- and second-round selection for this year to the Phoenix Suns to acquire Steve Nash.
Still, Kelly could help the Lakers need in their floor spacing and outside shooting, averaging 12.9 points on 42.2 percent from three-point range his senior year. After the season, Kelly underwent surgery on his right foot, marking his second surgery in a little more than a year.
Now the Lakers will shift their focus to free agency, namely in convincing Dwight Howard to return.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org