Kyle Kuzma may have had some doubts about the Los Angeles Lakers chances in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, but it appears he, LeBron James, and Josh Hart were certainly happy with the result.
The Lakers had a 2.0% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. While the odds were certainly not in their favor, Los Angeles had their fingers crossed that a lucky bounce would send the pick their way.
Kuzma was hoping the success that had followed him through college and into the pros would now help his team gain a favorable position. It is safe to say that he did not disappoint.
The former No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft felt lucky the Lakers moved up seven spots and landed the No. 4 pick, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
When he was standing there with representatives from the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Knicks, did Kyle Kuzma think the Lakers would get the No. 1 pick? "Nah. The league don’t like the Lakers. They weren’t gonna give us that."
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 15, 2019
It is clear that Kuzma still feels like the Lakers have a bone to pick with the league. Regardless, there is no question that he and the rest of the franchise are ecstatic with how things ultimately played out.
James certainly was not shy about expressing his thoughts on the team’s first round draft pick, via Twitter:
#4 ???? Beautiful.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 15, 2019
Josh Hart also voiced his excitement with how things turned out, via Twitter:
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 15, 2019
There is certainly good reason for Los Angeles to be excited. Even the most optimistic felt winning the No. 1 pick would have been a bit far-fetched and even a top-four pick seemed highly unlikely given their odds.
Los Angeles had been placed in the No. 11 slot leading up to May 14. They were able to jump ahead of teams with much higher odds such as the Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 5) and Phoenix Suns (No. 6) to land the No. 4 pick.
This puts the Lakers in a solid position to add perhaps another elite talent to their roster through the draft as they have in recent seasons.
Players like Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are already projected to be out of the team’s reach. However, considering all the voids in the roster, it will be interesting to see which direction the front office decides to go in or if they trade it for an established All-Star player.