There it was for the taking. The silver lining in what has turned out to be a miserable season. The chance to pick up one of the young prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft:
Joel Embiid who has been compared to Hakeem Olajuwon.
Andrew Wiggins whose worse case scenario is turning into the next Scottie Pippin.
Jabari Parker has the potential to be the leagues next potent scorer in the mold of Carmelo Anthony.
Dante Exum, the young Australian whose game has similarities to a young Kobe Bryant.
Any of these 4 young and promising stars that could potentially carry a franchise for the next 15 years will be available on June 26th, just a little more than 2 months away.
All the Lakers had to do is simply what they’ve done with ease all season. Lose.
Well, the Lakers couldn’t even do that right. The Lakers beat the Utah Jazz tonight, 119-104, falling behind both the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz in the Draft Lottery standings. The Lakers still have an outside shot of moving up if either the Jazz or Celtics win their last game of the season, and the Lakers lose theirs to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
The season being filled with one disappointment after the next, Lakers fans shouldn’t expect their luck to suddenly turn and should expect to finish in 6th place which gives them a 6.3 percent chance of winning the top pick in the lottery and 21.5 percent chance of nabbing one of the top 3 spots. Had the Lakers been able to secure the 4th spot in the lottery those odds improve significantly to 11.9 percent to win the 1st pick and 37.8 to win one of the top 3 picks.
By finishing 6th it puts the Lakers just out of reach of the 4 prospects that most NBA draft analysts have pegged with the best upside and potential to become one of those transcendent superstars. There is still talent after the top 4, but not considered franchise-direction-changing type talent.
Again, the Lakers will still have a shot at one of those prospects but they will have to depend on luck which we all know has escaped them all year.
On the positive side, the Lakers played hard and displayed a brand of inspired basketball tonight that has rarely been exhibited this season. Nick Young was absolutely unconscious, scoring 41 points, 2 points short of his career high. Jodie Meeks was solid again, as he has been all season, scoring 23 points on 8 for 13 from the field.
It’s a shame that Lakers’ fans couldn’t enjoy this victory tonight. It was actually fun to watch had it not been for the draft lottery positioning hanging over the results of the game.
Next year the Lakers don’t have a lottery pick as that was handed over to the Phoenix Suns in the Steve Nash deal.
Next year the Lakers fans wont be put in this horrible position of having to cheer for their team to lose.
Next year can’t come fast enough.
– Fern Rea