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Lady Luck stayed on the Los Angeles Lakers’ side for the third consecutive NBA Draft Lottery as the team retained their top-3 pick and will draft second in June’s NBA Draft.
The Lakers would have forfeited the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers had it landed outside the top three, but the Lakers remained lucky on lottery night. In each of the last two years, the Lakers entered the draft lottery with scenarios in which they could lose their draft pick.
Instead, Los Angeles will head forward into the off-season with more ammunition, whether it to be in the form of another young, talented and promising prospect to add to the fold or another trade asset in the team’s potential pursuit for a superstar like, say, Paul George.
Keeping the 2017 first round pick also has implications on future ones. With this news, the Lakers’ 2018 first round pick will now be unprotected, going to Philadelphia. However, their 2019 first-round pick is no longer owed to Orlando; instead, they will send two second-round picks to the Magic.
The team reportedly had locked in on four prospects prior to the lottery in Washington guard Markelle Fultz, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, and Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox.
At last week’s NBA Draft Combine, the Lakers met with both Fultz and Fox. Lonzo (and LaVar) Ball has expressed his desire to play for the Lakers, most recently in a piece from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Our own Dillon Hiser recently looked at how the NBA Draft might shake out with his latest mock draft, which includes the Lakers’ picking at 28 with the draft pick acquired from Houston in exchange for Lou Williams at the trade deadline.
Pairing the Lakers own pick with the 28th pick means the team now holds two more valuable pieces as the franchise looks to rebuild under the new front office of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, starting with a potential superstar prospect in June.