Guessing who the Los Angeles Lakers would select in the 2018 NBA Draft seemed like it would be nearly impossible going into the pre-draft process, owing to the fact that the team has had a knack for finding relatively unheralded diamonds in the rough over the last several seasons and wouldn’t be picking in the lottery, meaning there are more possibilities among players with similar talent levels.
Over the weekend, however, there was a (somewhat suspect) report that the Lakers had promised Mitchell Robinson they’d take him with the 25th pick, leading to him dropping out of the NBA Draft Combine.
That rumor seemed to be reinforced by numerous mock drafts pegging Robinson to be selected by the Lakers pick and the prospect’s own Twitter likes, although all of that was still hardly a guarantee a promise had been made.
Then, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report — who is always plugged in with the Lakers front office — gave the strongest refutation of that report seen so far (at least by anyone reputable) Tuesday morning:
They have no promise made, told that's not fact based https://t.co/bayAmThN6L— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) May 22, 2018
Now, reports essentially mean nothing until the pick is made, but Pincus has shown to be a far more reliable source of information over the course of his time covering the Lakers than Twitter likes and other draft scuttlebutt, so it seems likely that this is true, and that the Lakers haven’t promised Robinson anything.
But the Lakers not promising Robinson anything is essentially semantics, however, and doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t take him. It just means they haven’t guaranteed it, so the Lakers’ draft options might still be as wide as originally expected heading into the pre-draft process.