Things didn’t quite go to plan for the Los Angeles Lakers this past season. Despite signing LeBron James in free agency last summer, they were unable to end their six-year playoff drought and won just two more games than they won the previous season.
It goes without saying, but things could have gone better.
Now, the Lakers will enter a pivotal offseason and luckily for them, they finally got something to go their way this week. On Tuesday, Los Angeles jumped seven spots at the NBA Draft Lottery and will now have the fourth selection in June’s draft.
After the lottery, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka spoke to reporters about the team’s good fortune and said that the pick will be used to build a team fans can root for next season (via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):
“It’s a privilege to have that tool in the tool chest now, but the important thing is we have a commitment to our fans to be good next year. To be really good. And I think this is a big step towards that goal.”
The biggest question is: How exactly will the pick be used?
With the No. 4 pick in their arsenal, the Lakers can try and re-engage in trade talks for Anthony Davis or they could trade down in the draft for a future asset that can be used in a separate blockbuster trade. It’s also possible that the Lakers just decide to keep their pick and add another promising young player to their young core, which already features to former top-five picks in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
In other words, they have options, which is almost always a good thing. Hopefully Pelinka and Co. can prove their detractors wrong by getting this summer off on the right foot.