Although the Los Angeles Lakers have not had much to hang their hat on as of late, general manager Rob Pelinka can at least take solace in the fact that they will have favorable positioning in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The team’s odds were hardly in their favor after going into the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery slotted at No. 11. Despite having just a 9.4% chance of landing into the top-four, Los Angeles managed to do just that as they have the No. 4 pick in June now.
Several of the Lakers players such as LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart were ecstatic at the outcome of the lottery. It is safe to say that Pelinka is just as excited.
According to Mike Trudell of Lakers, Pelinka understands this gives the Lakers another asset to work with during the offseason:
“This is a powerful asset for us. Our focus right now is going to be on doing all we can to have an incredibly successful year next year.”
Pelinka added that both he and owner Jeanie Buss are optimistic about what this could bring to Los Angeles.
“We had scouting meetings with (Director of Scouting and Assistant GM) Jesse Buss and our scouts, and of course our focus was more around 11, because that’s where the huge probability was resting. But now it shifts, what we can get at four. I will tell you there are some incredibly talented, impact players there that we’re going to study deeply. And then of course we’ll canvas the league and see what value that pick has. But either of those options is an extraordinary win for the franchise … I already talked to Jeanie Buss and she is just thrilled. I think it should really be exciting for our fans. It’s an unexpected event for the Lakers and we’re certainly really blessed.”
Pelinka’s excitement is certainly understandable considering all the criticism he has faced since becoming the general manager. He and Buss have caught a lot of flak for all the turmoil that has occurred since then and there is now plenty of speculation regarding the future of the franchise moving forward.
Fortunately, the Lakers have been awarded quite the asset with the No. 4 pick now. They will have an opportunity to either add another elite talent to their young core or to potentially use in a blockbuster trade for another All-Star player to pair LeBron James with this offseason.
At this point, there are a number of intriguing options on the table for Los Angeles as they look to finally put all their troubles behind them before the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. With players Like Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett seemingly out of reach for the Lakers, it will be interesting to see which direction the front office ultimately decides to go in.