Jesse Buss on why drafting the best player available is the way to go

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The Los Angeles Lakers’ front office has come under fire over the last several years for several different reasons, but it seems like it has gotten its act together lately.

The team rescued itself from mediocrity by executing multiple trades midway through this past season, including the big Russell Westbrook trade. But the area in which it has perhaps excelled more than others is drafting. It has found a number of gems deep in the draft over the years while also hitting on a couple of undrafted players such as Austin Reaves.

There has always been a debate about whether teams should draft based on need or the best player available. Jesse Buss, the Lakers’ director of scouting and assistant general manager and the son of late former owner Dr. Jerry Buss, explained why he believes it’s better to draft the best player available (h/t Lakers Nation).

“I will say, we do take fit into consideration, but from my experience I’ve seen more mistakes made by drafting by fit and by immediate need as opposed to taking the most talented player. The most talented player is going to find a way to get on the court and produce. There’s many cases, but if we had taken a guy that maybe fit a better position for us at that time, we might’ve not ended up with Austin Reaves.”

This philosophy has apparently led to L.A. having a number of standouts during summer league play this year, including Max Christie, D’Moi Hodge and Jalen Hood-Schifino, the No. 17 pick by the Lakers last month.

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There is hope that Hood-Schifino will turn into a solid contributor for them within the next couple of years, even though as a combo guard, he doesn’t play a position they need help at.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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