The Los Angeles Lakers had a disappointing campaign in LeBron James’ first season in Southern California. Despite much fanfare, the team could not overcome its roster construction and myriad injuries to reach the postseason.
The silver lining to what was objectively a failure of a season is that the team will now have a valuable draft asset as a result. The Lakers ended the season with the eleventh worst record in the NBA. On Tuesday, the NBA held its annual draft lottery where the Lakers shockingly jumped up to the fourth position for the 2019 NBA Draft. They had a 9.4% chance at getting a top-four pick going into the night.
This draft has been deemed a one-player one by most experts with Duke star Zion Williamson the consensus number one overall pick.
The Lakers will have an interesting decision to make as they approach the draft. They can either select a young player who will be under team control for a small price, something they have had quite a bit of success with throughout the past half decade. They could also trade the pick, a very valuable asset, in a trade for a bigger piece.
If the Lakers and Pelicans reignite talks involving Anthony Davis, the first-round pick will almost certainly be a major component of such a trade. However, the Lakers would likely need to make a selection before any trades occur, given they will not have the cap space to absorb contracts until July.
Players that are drafted cannot be traded for 30 days.
The 2019 NBA Draft will be held on June 20th.