The NBA Draft Lottery odds were very different this year, but the result ended up being the same. The ping pong balls bounced the way of the Los Angeles Lakers once again, netting them the No.2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, keeping their first round selection away from the Philadelphia 76ers, until at least next year.
Had the pick fallen out of the top-three, it would have been conveyed to Philadelphia as a result of the Steve Nash trade in 2012.
Instead, the Lakers keep the rights to their first round pick this year, which means their 2017 first round pick now becomes top-three protected again. But Los Angeles certainly is not worried about that right now. Instead, the Lakers now have a chance at one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class, with either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram being on the board when they are on the clock.
All the trade rumors will really start to heat up now that the pick is officially in their possession. Will the Lakers keep their pick and add to their promising, young core or trade the pick to bring in some established talent? We have a little over a month to speculate, but the Lakers must make the selection first before they actually trade it, seeing as they could lose their first round pick next year now.
The Ted Stepien Rule in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from going consecutive seasons without making a first round selection.
The outstanding news for the Lakers is obviously that they have those options available to them now that they retained the pick.
Everything has seemingly bounced the Lakers way since Kobe Bryant exited with a 60-point performance in his career finale on April 13. The team landed arguably the top coaching candidate on the market in Luke Walton and now they can add either Simmons or Ingram to the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr., and Jordan Clarkson.
Now the fun really begins.