The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery has concluded and teams will be relentlessly evaluating prospects who will hopefully pan out into productive players in the league.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, the fate of the team’s selection hung in the balance before the lottery, as they would only retain their pick if it remained in the top-three. If it did not, the pick would be conveyed to the Philadelphia 76ers as a result of the Steve Nash trade in 2012. The Lakers had a 46.9 percent chance of keeping their pick after finishing with the third-worst regular season record (26-56) and were fortunate enough to land the second overall pick:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 17, 2017
This is the outcome all Lakers fans wanted as the purple and gold can now add another promising young talent in this year’s draft. Heralded prospects like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson are now available for Los Angeles to choose from and all three are considered to be potential franchise cornerstones. The Lakers also now have the option of trading their second overall pick for an established superstar. Paul George has been linked to his hometown team and the Lakers can offer an attractive trade package to the Indiana Pacers.
Retaining the team’s top-three draft pick also sets up a domino effect for the rest of their foreseeable future draft picks. While Los Angeles does get to keep their 2019 first round draft pick, the Lakers will now give their 2018 first round pick to the 76ers as well as their 2017 and 2018 second round picks to the Orlando Magic. Still, they are in much better shape going forward now that they have a clear understanding of their draft pick situation for the future. After a season of uncertainty, President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka can finally breathe and plan accordingly.