Coming off the worst season in franchise history, things can only get better. The front office moves this summer will determine how quickly a return to the top can be. Getting the seventh pick in the NBA draft lottery wasn’t what the Lakers hoped for, but we move forward and look to focus on the draft and selecting the future coach.
According to most NBA experts, the top 5 prospects are: Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Julius Randle in that order. After that, it really depends on a team’s need by position versus overall perceived upside. With Kobe Bryant only signed to a two-year contract, the window to win with him is closing rapidly. That being said, the Lakers must choose to draft a potential star and let him develop or go for the home run by trading the pick for a proven player in the league.
The Lakers as an organization, including the fan base aren’t known for their patience and if you take into account how the Lakers usually reload after a disappointing season, it’s through free agency — not the draft. Small market teams don’t have the luxury of attracting proven stars via free agency, but the Lakers are still one of the most desired destinations in the league.
Enter Kyrie Irving — one of the most exciting young stars wanting a new home. Reports state both sides, Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, are unwilling to agree on a max contract, so a trade now becomes a possibility. The Lakers can offer the Cavaliers the seventh pick where Cleveland can begin rebuilding their team in addition to their first pick.
Kyrie Irving has never been to the playoffs in his first three seasons in the league. It has also been reported that he is not as strong of a leader as the Cavaliers had hoped. After his second season, even with a close relationship with then coach Byron Scott, he did not speak up and demand that Scott be retained as coach by management. He is a rising star on a losing team, but how much of the blame should be directed his way?
Lakers GM Kupchak Says Next Coach Must Get Most Out Of Kobe Bryant, Chances Of Trading The Pick?