The first major date of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason is set to take place on Tuesday as the NBA Draft Lottery will take place. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson will represent the Lakers on the podium while general manager Rob Pelinka will be in the drawing room as the actual lottery takes place.
As is well known at this point, the Lakers will only keep their pick if it lands in the top-3 and they have a 46.9 percent chance of doing so. Finding out the fate of their draft pick isn’t the only thing Pelinka is looking forward to however.
According to Tania Ganguli of the LA Times, Pelinka sees the Draft Lottery as a great opportunity to talk with the top prospects who will be in attendance:
“One of the great things is most of the players that are lottery candidates attend,” Pelinka told The Times during a brief break in a busy day. “It’s a really good time to get to have some social interaction with the players and understand what type of people they are, what their character is.”
The Lakers brass was at the NBA Draft Combine this past week in Chicago and certainly talked to many prospects while there, but most top players don’t attend. In fact, Washington’s Markelle Fultz and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox were the only two top-10 prospects in Chicago and the Lakers met with both.
At the lottery both Pelinka and Magic will likely get the opportunity to chat with players like UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Kansas’ Josh Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, and Fox’s backcourt partner at Kentucky, Malik Monk should they attend.
The only question now is whether or not the Lakers will keep the pick. Pelinka has said that the Lakers have a plan either way and has spoken about his optimism not being tied to keeping the pick. After Tuesday things will really begin to get in motion.