The Los Angeles Lakers have an important off-season on their hands after compiling a rare second straight losing season. The man who helped build the Lakers into championship teams just a couple of years ago is now tasked with rebuilding the team.
For general manager Mitch Kupchak, turning the Lakers into contenders will take plenty of work with the NBA Draft holding big significance. The team will find out where their first pick will land during Tuesday’s Draft Lottery. With so much on the line for the Lakers, Kupchak admitted to being a little worried over the ordeal, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
It’s completely out of our control. But I’m somewhat of a worry-wart,” Kupchak said on Thursday in an interview with the Los Angeles News Group. “I know our percentage is very high that we end up with a top-five pick, but I have to prepare for if we don’t get it. We’ll be prepared either way.”
Obviously, keeping their protected top-five pick would go a long way towards the Lakers rebuilding effort. The team needs a talent upgrade at just about every position and could use the likes of a young prospect with plenty of star potential. On Wednesday, Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell met with the Lakers and is seen as a possible target.
The Lakers also hold the 27th and 34th pick in the upcoming draft and there will be plenty of intriguing prospects at that range as well. Although not as hyped as the top of the draft, there is talent to be had with the later selections. Players can still prove to be dependable regardless of where they are drafted.
While the draft is the first step in team’s rebuild, Kupchak will also be looking at free agency to help. Bringing in players with their cap room is just as beneficial as drafting them.[divide]