Something finally went right for the Los Angeles Lakers. After a dreadful calendar year defined by missing the playoffs, the abrupt exit of Magic Johnson, a twice-botched coaching search, and some bizarre LeBron James rumors, the Lakers left Tuesday night’s draft lottery as one of the biggest winners.
Los Angeles jumped up from No. 11 to No. 4, something it only had a 2.8 percent chance to do. The fourth pick always felt like the spot where this draft was destined to get interesting, and now it feels really interesting with the Lakers holding the keys.
It remains a mystery who’s actually calling the shots for Jeanie Buss’ team right now. Whoever has the final say will find themselves with plenty of options and no easy answers as the draft approaches. This is what’s going to be on the table for L.A. with the fourth pick.
Trade the pick
This will be the Lakers’ preferred option, with New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis as their preferred target. The calculus of a Davis trade changed dramatically with the Pelicans winning the lottery. We know New Orleans’ previous regime already said no to a Lakers package centered around, well, every talented young player on the roster. Will new GM David Griffin accept a similar package?
If the Lakers can’t get Davis, expect them to dangle the pick for another star-level player as long as LeBron is on the roster. That is, unless they try to trade LeBron, too.
Make the pick
The Lakers can expect Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett to be off the board when they come on the clock at No. 4 overall.