The Los Angeles Lakers franchise and fans alike can let out a collective sigh of relief after the franchise won the second-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The draft lottery was kind to the Lakers, an exorcism of sorts as fans around the globe shouted in excitement as each pick came in, leading up to the stunning moment it became clear Los Angeles was moving up into the top three. The final wound left from the Steve Nash trade has healed.
It wasn't until the words glided out of the deputy commissioner's mouth, smooth as silk, that it became a reality. "The second pick will be made by .... the Los Angeles Lakers." Just like that, the Lakers were back on their feet with an incredible opportunity to transition into the future. Los Angeles is still a long way from locking down who will don a Lakers draft cap on the big night, but right now, it doesn't matter. All that matters is they're in the mix for the top talent available and will undoubtedly get the next big piece for the future in a purple and gold uniform.
A million mock drafts can't faze the joy spreading across the Lakers kingdom. For the first time in a long time the ball -- specifically ping pong balls -- bounced in the Lakers' favor. 6-8-4-11 came down as the winning combination that vaulted the Lakers up to the No. 2 spot, bumping the New York Knicks all the way down to the fourth-overall pick. That simple sequence of numbers might be the difference between the Lakers floundering at the bottom of the Western Conference or being a team on the rise. This is the rebirth moment they've been trying to ignite for years. The fire is lit. The Lakers are on their way back.
NBA Draft Lottery
It wound up being a 12.6 percent chance of moving up to the No. 2 slot that became their salvation. Forget crunching salary and trying to squeeze any potential left in the likes of Wesley Johnson or any number of rotating-door talents they've signed over the years. Lady Luck finally called back loud and clear.
The analysts will break down who goes where and why. The front office will host workouts, interviews and endless meetings to carefully navigate making the most of picks No. 2, 27 and 34. But the fans? The people who rode through this storm day in and day out, sticking to their purple and gold faith? We get to embrace this moment of relief. We get to move forward, for good.
The Lakers are on the fast track to the future with the No. 2 pick, Julius Randle and All-Rookie first teamer Jordan Clarkson locked and loaded. They've got salary space to make a big offer, and suddenly have a new reason to get the attention of their free agent targets. The future is bright, the chaotic past is in the rear view mirror, and the present is glorious.
The suspense is over and Los Angeles didn't just survive; it became the biggest winner on lottery night. What happens next doesn't even matter. Right now, there's just one thing left to say: Damn it feels good to love the Lakers.