Lou Williams Explains Why Lakers Won’t Tank
Lakers Nation Roundtable: What Worries You Most About Team?
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a bit of a quandary, with a team full of players who are striving to win while there is serious incentive to lose. Thanks to the infamous Steve Nash trade, the Lakers will have to send their 2017 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers if it lands outside the top three selections. In a draft bursting with tantalizing players, the Lakers would clearly love to add another talented young piece to their core.

Furthermore, if the Lakers can retain their pick this summer, they also get their 2019 pick back from the Orlando Magic, sending a pair of second round selections instead. With draft lottery odds tied directly to where the Lakers finish in the standings, it makes a whole lot of sense to lose games at this juncture. The Lakers players, however, are not on board with this way of thinking. Leading scorer Lou Williams took to Twitter to explain his thoughts on the subject:

Williams’ stance isn’t a surprise, as tanking games really doesn’t help players at all. Each one is trying to earn as much money as they can and provide the best situation for their families, just as everyday Joe’s do. Unfortunately, this often puts them at odds with fans, who are hoping that the franchise will improve long-term by landing a superstar in the draft.

Some have even suggested that Williams is hindering the development of the Lakers’ young players by dominating the ball and taking too many shots, but again he disputes that notion:

Williams makes some good points, but it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of fans want to see the Lakers succeed rather than an individual player pick up a few wins at the expense of an extremely valuable draft pick. This, along with Williams’ prime not matching up with that of Los Angeles’ young core, is part of why he pops up in trade rumors so often. In theory, if the Lakers could part with veterans in exchange for future assets, they could give themselves a brighter tomorrow in addition to a greater chance of keeping their 2017 and 2019 first round picks.

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