Yes. YES. YESSSSS.
Earlier today I wasn’t necessarily pessimistic, but I was not encouraged by the math nor the history surrounding the Lakers’ chances of keeping their top-3 protected pick. Those concerns turned out to be misplaced as the Lakers retained their pick and held their draft slot in Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery. They will select at #2 overall in June’s draft and have their pick of a top player who can bolster their young core of talent.
There will be arguments, of course, about who the Lakers select, but that will almost certainly be determined by who the 76ers choose with the #1 overall pick. In a draft with two very highly touted prospects, the Lakers would do well simply to take whoever Philly leaves on the board and call it a day.
But that’s a discussion for another day. We’ll have plenty of time to break down the prospects, play favorites, and have lively back-and-forth talks about the players. For now, though, it’s time to celebrate. Keeping the pick doesn’t ensure contending any sooner, but considering the consequences of losing the pick would have been a kick in the stomach and the avenues opened up to the team by retaining the pick, there’s no need to feel anything but joy today.
We’ll have more updates in the coming days. But, for now, YES! The Lakers will go into the summer with a new young coach who has the fanbase excited, the opportunity to select a fantastic prospect, and a boatload of cap space to chase free agents. Today is a good day, Lakers’ fans. Enjoy it.