Today is the big day for the Los Angeles Lakers, the day of the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. If their first round pick stays in the top three selections, they will retain it. If it falls to fourth or fifth, the pick will be conveyed to the Philadelphia 76ers, finally closing out the Steve Nash trade from 2012.
At 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time this evening, the lottery will begin on ESPN prior to the start of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite not knowing the fate of the draft pick, there has been endless speculation on what the Lakers will do if it stays in their possession. Should they trade it or keep it? The rumors have ranged from adding another young prospect to their roster to attempting a trade for Indiana’s Paul George.
Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons are the consensus top-two picks in the 2016 NBA Draft. Starting with the 3rd pick, though, nobody knows what will happen.
However, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, if the Lakers end up in that No. 3 slot, they will look to trade the pick (h/t NBC Sports).
Multiple sources said at the combine this week that they expect the pick to be in play if it’s No. 3 — with the Lakers looking for a young veteran in return.
Ford was specific about the pick being No. 3, perhaps implying that the Lakers would hold on to the pick if it lands in the top two, giving them the opportunity to select Ingram or Simmons. The latter has reportedly made it clear that he wants to continue wearing purple and gold next season.
Of course, for any of these ideas to gain any traction, they have to retain the pick in the first place, which will not be decided until tonight. Even if they do, the speculation and rumors will continue to swirl around the Lakers. Unfortunately, the only thing that will make that stop prior to June 23 will be if the pick is conveyed to Philadelphia.
There are a ton of questions surrounding the Lakers and their first round pick this year. Will the ping pong balls bounce their way again? We will all know the answer to that and so much more, starting with tonight’s results.