The Los Angeles Lakers — for the fifth time in the last six seasons — will have a representative at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. For this go-around, it will be Kyle Kuzma.
Should everything hold to form, the Lakers are slated to hold the No. 11 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. As of right now, they hold a 77.6% chance of keeping the No. 11 pick and about a 13% chance of dropping to either the No. 12 or 13 picks.
However, with some luck, the Lakers could sneak their way into the top-four, including a 2.0% chance at the No. 1 pick. They’ll also have a 9.4% chance of moving into the top-four.
During this six-year stretch, Kuzma will be the first current player to represent the Lakers. James Worthy, Byron Scott, Mitch Kupchak, and Magic Johnson were the previous four to represent the purple and gold.
Kuzma, unlike Worthy and others before him, will not be bringing a good luck charm, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers:
“I’m bringing myself. Knock on wood, but I’ve had a lot of luck in my life, so hopefully, me being there will help.”
The good news in the 2019 NBA Draft is if teams aren’t picking Duke’s Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick, the Nos. 2-14 picks aren’t that far off from one another in talent.
Duke’s RJ Barrett, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, UNC’s Coby White, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver are all pretty close together in terms of talent and potential. Yet, Barrett is slated to go as high as No. 2 in some mock drafts while Clarke and White often don’t even reach the top 10.
The only major upgrade would be somehow hitting that 2.0% and landing the Williamson pick, something that almost assuredly would cause an uproar in the NBA community.
As it stands, the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns all have even odds at winning the lottery with 14.0%, which is the first time the NBA is trying this new system. This was implemented for the 2018-19 NBA season as an effort to prevent tanking.
If Kuzma is right and he is his own personal good luck charm, the Lakers could somehow find a way to the top. However, the much more likely option is selecting No. 11, something that no Lakers fans should have an issue with.