No team in Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery had more to lose than the Los Angeles Lakers. The storied franchise possessed a top-three protected draft pick which could go as high as number one overall or end up in disaster with the team losing the pick altogether due to the Steve Nash trade of 2012.
With the lottery being a nerve-racking experience for the Lakers organization, Raymond Ridder of the Golden State Warriors decided to have a bit of fun with Luke Walton.
Obviously, Walton stands to benefit greatly from the Lakers keeping their pick with the 36-year-old set to take over as head coach next season and Ridder took full advantage of the situation by delivering what would have been devastating news, via Bill Oram of OC Register:
Before lottery, Warriors PR czar Raymond Ridder texted Luke Walton that Lakers got 4th pick. Luke fell for the prank, now has last laugh.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) May 18, 2016
If the Lakers’ first-round draft pick would’ve fallen out of the top-three selections, the team would’ve beeen scrambling to figure out what their next move would be. Los Angeles could’ve easily lost a valuable asset whether they intended to trade the pick or draft one of the top-two players in the draft in Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.
Fortunately for Walton, the Lakers retained their pick and are in a good position with the 2016 NBA Draft about a month away on June 23. Los Angeles now possess the second overall pick in next month’s draft and may be locked in on Ingram if Simmons is indeed off the table as expected.
The Lakers are also rumored to be exploring trade scenarios using their lottery pick. Los Angeles appears to be ready to make some bold moves this summer to get this franchise back on track and making a blockbuster trade could end up being a realistic possibility.