It’s boom-or-bust for the Lakers.
Los Angeles is in an important transition year for the franchise, and could use a top pick to jumpstart the turnaround. But because of the trade that sent Steve Nash to LA, the Lakers first round pick this year is only top-three protected.
Either the Lakers get an elite player, or they get no pick at all. If the Lakers receive a pick below the third spot, it will transfer to the 76ers.
If the Lakers do get some lottery luck, it’ll redeem last year’s 17-win performance. The 2016 season was a dedication to Kobe Bryant, with no interest in promoting young players like D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. The Lakers finished last in points per game and shooting percentage, and could get a huge boost from either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers have only won the top overall pick three times in franchise history, but they have a high success rate with the picks. The picks were Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson and James Worthy, all Hall of Famers.
Pick Result: Second Overall
Lakers First-Round Pick History
2015: D’Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State
2015: Larry Nance, Jr., PF, Wyoming
2014: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
2009: Toney Douglas, G, Florida State
2011: Javaris Crittenton, PG, Georgia Tech