There has not been much for Laker fans to celebrate about in recent months. News has been replete with story after story of loss and dysfunction of varying sorts. But then came the 2019 draft lottery wherein the Lakers and their fans were granted a much needed reprieve from the recent storm of negative press.
Courtesy of the Lakers’ 37-45 record for the 2018-2019 season, the franchise sat in the 11th spot ahead of the draft lottery and had only a 9.4% chance of jumping into the top-4. A 77.6% chance of remaining exactly where they were on the board seemed the most likely, in fact the odds were actually greater that the Lakers would drop down to the 12th spot (12.6%) than move up. For whatever reason, the basketball gods smiled on the Lakers and their fans and the franchise jumped 7 spots to the #4 pick.
The consequences for this improbable turn of events for the Lakers presents options that were not previously available. First, I’ll play Captain Obvious and point out that better players are available for selection at pick #4 than pick #11. Second, the pick is a much better asset which makes a trade for a second star (e.g. Anthony Davis) much more possible. So either the Lakers could end up with another valuable young player to add to the core or it may help the Lakers put together a trade package for a more established star, a potential win-win.
Of course, there could be some things to point out if one wanted to throw a wet blanket on the Lakers and their fans notwithstanding their lottery jump. For starters, is it a coincidence that the one good thing to happen to the Lakers in months is the one thing in which the Lakers brass had absolutely no control? What’s more, given the news that has come in the past month, can there really be confidence that the Lakers will do the right thing with their newfound asset? Let’s hope so!
But this isn’t the day for such wet blanket throwing or naysaying. There will be a lot of time in the summer months to dissect how the Lakers handle their business going forward. But not today. Enjoy it, Laker fans. Take as much time as possible to enjoy the feeling of optimism commensurate with the Lakers improbable draft lottery jump.
By Frank Gaulden (@FrankGaulden)