LA Lakers’ chances of drafting Victor Wembanyama as a lottery pick could be more than mere rumors. However, Marc Stein reported some genuine concerns the Lakers organization may face in their quest.
The Lakers have been particularly disappointing this season. With a 3-10 record after almost a month of regular-season action, they have neither hit their stride nor made adjustments to ensure they do.
Given the star power available at their disposal, the Purple and Gold are underachieving on a monumental scale. This poor display has led to some speculation regarding their intentions for next year’s draft.
The 2023 NBA Draft class features one of the most hyped prospects of the last decade in Victor Wembanyama. Standing at 7’4″, the French basketball player has garnered the attention of fans and the NBA alike.
Wembanyama is widely regarded as the most talented prospect since LeBron James. To this note, the sheer hype surrounding him has practically urged teams in the league to tank this season.
Teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs were considered the frontrunners to earn a lottery pick. But, as things stand, the LA Lakers find themselves in a much better position to earn that pick next season.
While this could be a cause to rejoice for the Lakers organization, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that this was not the case.
Stein wrote about the Lakers’ fears regarding the Wembanyama pick next season on his substack. He wrote:
“There is already a palpable fear inside (what I still like to call) Staples Center that the Purple & Gold are careening toward a draft in June in which the New Orleans Pelicans are gleefully positioned to swap picks with LA as a condition of the Anthony Davis blockbuster deal in July 2019.”
The Lakers’ concerns regarding the Pelicans pick swap are more than valid. The Lakeshow certainly benefitted from trading for Anthony Davis in the summer of 2019.
With an NBA title in hand that season itself, the Lakers reaped the benefits of the trade early. However, having given up a significant number of assets in the process, the Purple and Gold finally face the negative reality of their decision.
The Lakers may just lose out on Wembanyama this season. However, given their current situation, it would be better to focus on turning things around rather than tanking and hoping for the best.
The LA Lakers could still improve their situation
The LA Lakers have had a horrendous start to the season. Although the team snapped a five-game losing streak with a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, they are still far from being in the clear.
With a 3-10 record, the Lakers are among the worst teams in the NBA. Much of their problems can be attributed to poor roster construction.
As the poorest shooting team in the NBA, the Lakers have failed to build a roster that is capable of competing in the modern era. However, this doesn’t have to be the case for the rest of the season.
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They currently have some trade avenues that may be worth exploring in order to improve their roster. With consistent links to teams such as the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs, LA have options to make a move happen.
However, the team has been hesitant to make any trades. With their limited draft capital acting as an inhibitor, the Lakers continue to keep their cards close to their chest.
Also Read: NBA Rumors: LA Lakers prudent with trading first round picks