The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off their worst regular season since moving to California and fans are anxious to see a competitive team on the court. This summer will be a pivotal one for the front office and major changes need to made in order to restore the Lakers’ championship aspirations.
Los Angeles has the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the team is hoping it can snag a player that will help guide the franchise to victories for the next several seasons. However, general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a conference call on Wednesday that he does not necessarily see this year’s draft pick making an immediate impact to the team:
“I wouldn’t say it was bad luck. We were hoping to get lucky but as you know we could have dropped down to number nine. You know, we were hoping to get lucky or in worst case stay where we were, but it could have been worse. And, as far as what Danny said that’s up to him. We think drafting at No. 7 there’s going to be a good player available there. Maybe Danny is talking more about a guy that changes the face of an organization from the get go. But, you know you can’t really evaluate these things until years later when you look back on it. Damian Lillard is a great example. I don’t think anybody thought you know looking through the draft he would turn into a player as quickly as he did. But looking back on it, it’s a heck of a selection. So we’ll be able to get a good player and we’re hoping that three or four years from now we can look back on it, and he’s even better player than we thought.”
Damian Lillard was the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, whereas Harrison Barnes was selected next at the seventh spot — two examples of solid players available towards the end of the lottery. Even though the Lakers will likely miss out on players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, there is enough talent in this summer’s draft for the team to pick up an effective rookie at No. 7.
At the end of the day, the front office will make most of its roster changes via free agency and trades. No rookie will realistically turn the Lakers into championship contenders overnight and the best way to do that is to acquire proven veterans who can lead and play alongside Kobe Bryant.
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