While the playoffs have long been in doubt for this team, Mitch Kupchak has finally acknowledged that the Los Angeles Lakers are going to have a good draft pick this year.
At 17-32, the Lakers are currently projected to receive the 7th overall pick in June’s draft, though a number of factors could mean that the purple and gold end up selecting within the top-five on draft night.
That’s exactly why concerned fans should give the franchise a chance to turn things around, especially seeing as the Lakers are also set to have heaps of cap space this coming summer.
“Our future is a bright future. We’re going to be just fine,” Kupchak said on SiriusXM NBA Radio, according to Eric Pincus from the Los Angeles Times. “The franchise is going to attract players. Unfortunately, we’re going to have a good draft pick this year. We’ll get a good player there.”
Kupchak uses the word “unfortunately” because the Lakers’ aim is always to be in the contention to win an NBA championship each season. However, due to multiple injuries, the purple and gold could be in an enviable position this June if they end up with a top selection in what is thought to be the deepest draft in years.
The likes of Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart could all be up for grabs on draft night, and the Lakers should be able to jumpstart their rebuilding process by picking up a future star.
Then, there’s the cap space, which the Lakers could either look to spend on big name free agents this summer, such as Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James depending on whether they opt-out of their contracts. Alternatively, the team could pass on any long-term signings this coming offseason and instead save their money for 2015 when the likes of Kevin Love could become available.
In short, the Lakers are never down for long, and owning a high draft pick in June – coupled with the most cap space this franchise has had in decades – will go a long way towards getting the Lake Show back on the right track.