Tuesday is a huge day for the Los Angeles Lakers. The draft lottery is arriving and with it comes the moment of truth for the Lakers’ draft pick status for the next three years.
As it stands, the Lakers have only a not-so-nice 46.9 percent chance of keeping their top-three protected pick. If it falls out of the top three, the likely scenario, it will be headed to the Philadelphia 76ers. Losing the pick this year would also have the added consequence of giving the team’s 2019 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic.
That all sounds drastic and it could be a massive loss for the Lakers as they continue to rebuild the franchise after four straight seasons without reaching the playoffs. But according to Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka, keeping the pick isn’t the big deal it’s made out to be.
The sequestered drawing room can be tense. Pelinka doesn’t expect to feel nervous there.
“Magic and I just have a real level of confidence and optimism,” Pelinka said. “Our trust is in hard work and kind of just the pursuit of excellence with everything we do. It’s not contingent on getting the pick or not getting the pick.”
That’s reassuring because Pelinka and Magic Johnson’s job is to prepare the Lakers for the offseason with or without the pick. We still don’t know if they’ll be successful at that and having the picks would help tremendously in doing so, but at least they have the right attitude towards the whole process.