The Los Angeles Lakers have been regular fixtures in the NBA’s Draft Lottery in the last couple of years. The positive outcome, of course, is that the Lakers wound up with Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram with those lottery picks.
Now that the team has accumulated that talent, along with the likes of Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers are hoping they don’t have to return to the lottery for a long time.
With such a young team, it seems pretty unlikely that the Lakers would actually make a playoff run this season, but that doesn’t matter to Nance and the Lakers. According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Nance says the Lakers don’t want to be back in the lottery for a long time:
“We don’t want that,” said Larry Nance Jr. “No, no, ideally we never want to be in the lottery. Never, ever, ever, never do we want to be in the lottery […] Granted, we earned the lottery last year, and we got a terrific player because of that. The goal is to not see the lottery for the foreseeable future,” he said.”
It is good to see the Lakers setting big goals for themselves. Expectations for the team this season are low, but they clearly don’t care as they hope to shock a lot of people and make a playoff push. Whether or not they are capable of doing so remains to be seen.
The team has looked much improved during the preseason, but it could be a different story once the games count. With Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Nance, and Ingram leading a young talented squad anything is possible, but the Lakers have a long way to go to get to playoff level.
One silver lining could be the 2017 draft class which is expected to be one of the best in years. The Lakers only keep their pick if it lands in the top-three so their standing will again be worth watching all year.