EL SEGUNDO – The day began at 5 a.m. when Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka woke up so he could make phone calls with Eastern Conference teams starting their workday at more conventional hours.
The day ended with the Lakers experiencing the predictable and unexpected. To no one’s surprise, the Lakers selected UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with their No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But Pelinka felt “gratitude,” because the team then added three more players by virtue of two trades.
The Lakers selected Utah forward Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 pick, which they acquired from Brooklyn after trading center Timofey Mozgov and guard D’Angelo Russell for center Brook Lopez earlier in the week. The Lakers then traded their No. 28 pick to the Utah Jazz for the 30th pick (Villanova guard Josh Hart) and the 42nd selection (Indiana center Thomas Bryant).
That capped a day during which Pelinka said the Lakers were “really relentless” in other trade proposals, which also included talks with the Indiana Pacers for forward Paul George.
“That will continue until we get in a position again where we feel like this roster is a championship-level roster,” Pelinka said Thursday night at the Lakers’ practice facility. “We’re not there yet. So we’re going to be relentless with the work and we’re going to pursue every opportunity until we reach our goal.”
The Lakers had offered Indiana their No. 27 and No. 28 picks and their choice of fourth-year forward Julius Randle or fourth-year guard Jordan Clarkson. The Pacers did not accept the offer, and the Lakers refused to make their No. 2 pick or second-year forward Brandon Ingram available.
George’s representatives informed the Pacers late last week about his aspirations to join the Lakers as a free agent in the 2018 offseason. Nonetheless, the Lakers have pursued him now to prevent a talented team from acquiring him on a perceived rental that could turn into an extended stay if he has a good…