Every year there are conspiracy theories about the NBA Draft Lottery, as fans of teams that got a lower pick than they’d hoped for grasp for reasons why they were screwed by anything other than fate.
Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers might have to do so this year if they lose their top-three protected first-round pick in the lottery on May 16. Los Angeles’ pick will be conveyed to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls to fourth our below, something it has a better than 50 percent chance to do.
According to Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton, there is no reason to worry about that because Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson is going to work some, well, you know.
"Magic has already assured me that we're going to get our top-three pick this year so I'm excited about that,” Walton said, tongue planted firmly in cheek, during an appearance on ‘We Need to Talk’ on CBS Sports. "We don't know who the pick is yet, but I was just happy to know we're getting the pick. That's good enough for me for now."
Walton was clearly joking around a little, and added that he’s enjoyed working with Johnson and Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka so far, but was he also maybe not kidding? Could Magic Johnson really already know the Lakers are going to keep their pick?
That would seem a little preposterous, unless pictures had leaked of Magic having a meeting with NBA Commisioner Adam Silver or something:
GM Rob Pelinka and I leaving NYC after having a great meeting with the @NBA & Commissioner Adam Silver on the new CBA! @Lakers pic.twitter.com/J9b42nxFdu— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 20, 2017
Whoa... Maybe this is possible. You never know, their meeting could’ve included making sure the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement included a clause saying the Lakers get the first-overall pick in odd numbered years they’re in the lottery.
What? You can’t prove that ISN’T true until the lottery. We’re just going to have to wait and see whether Johnson and Walton’s confidence is warranted.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.