The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of their worst run in franchise history. Over the last three seasons, they have managed only 65 wins compared to a whopping 181 losses.
And even though the Lakers’ run of failures has yielded them promising No.2 picks D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, the Purple & Gold are not done collecting lottery picks, according to ESPN insider Chad Ford.
In his latest Insider piece, Ford wrote that the offseason additions of Timofey Mozgov (via FA), Luol Deng (via FA), Yi Jianlian (via FA), Jose Calderon (via trade), Ivica Zubac (via draft) and Ingram (via draft) is not enough to change the fortunes of the 16-time NBA champions.
Though many optimists believe that L.A., under new coach Luke Walton, can surprise the league and challenge for a playoff berth, Ford reckons Los Angeles will likely once again finish with the 15th seed in the Western Conference.
Also, the young core of Russell, Ingram, Jordan Clarskon and Julius Randle has shown enough promise for the fanbase to be enter the new season with a positive approach. However, it’s rare for such a young team to register victories against more established teams in the league.
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“The best outcome for the Lakers this season is keeping their pick for one more year. Land a top three pick in June and the Lakers will have two young superstars to build around,” Ford wrote in his piece, while adding that tanking the season wouldn’t be a bad ploy for the Lakers since the 2017 NBA Draft is loaded.
Ford noted that while Deng is a great locker room presence and should help mentor Ingram, he’s not a good enough player to help the team end their playoff drought.
“While Deng’s a great locker room influence, he plays the same position as Ingram. For a team that’s incentivized to be patient (the Sixers get their lottery pick if it falls outside the top three) it seems like they could’ve passed on both of these contracts (Deng and Mozgov),” wrote Ford.
Remember, Los Angeles would need to finish in the bottom-3 to improve their chances of retaining the Top-3 protected draft pick for next year. If they fall out of the Top-3, the draft pick would go to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Lakers lucked out in May and retained its draft pick. Will the gods smile upon them once again?