If Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka and, by extension, President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson had their way, this will be the last time the team or its fans will have to be as concerned with that as they now are.
The Chicago Bulls are in a position where they need to hit on a few draft picks in consecutive years to turn around the franchise.
"Magic and I just have a real level of confidence and optimism", Pelinka said. But the Sixers should be fine with just that one pick. It's said that this could help Okafor get plenty of touches on offense, and he could also become a rebounding and defensive understudy to veteran Tyson Chandler. You want to know.
The best-case scenario for the Sixers is to leave the NBA Draft Lottery with the first and fourth overall selections in the draft. The top three picks are chosen by a random drawing of numbered pingpong balls, while the rest of the picks are ordered according to worst record following the 2016-17 season. By just missing the postseason, Miami ended up with the best record among the lottery teams.
The Lakers are now on a streak of no. 2 picks, as the team drafted D'Angelo Russell with the no. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and selected Brandon Ingram with the no. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. That pick comes from the Brooklyn Nets, who finished the season 20-62. They have a 4% chance of moving up into the top three and keeping their first round pick, otherwise the pick is conveyed to the Sacramento Kings, completing the DeMarcus Cousins transaction.
If Philly lands No. 2, there is a very high chance the No. 1 pick is Ball anyway, and that the Sixers are able to get their first choice in Fultz. Most mock drafts have Fultz-Ball-Jackson as the top three. But after winning only 11 games combined in December, January, February and March, the Lakers went on a five-game winning streak in April, closing the season having won five of their last six games.
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In a point guard heavy draft, it will be interesting to see how the Celtics approach this draft - with or without the top pick.
As poorly as the Lakers' 2012 trade for Phoenix's Steve Nash turned out on the court because of his late-career injuries, the Lakers might soon face more consequences for that deal.
When the Celtics made a decision to break up the remaining core of their 17th National Basketball Association championship team, they dealt Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn as part of a draft-night deal in 2013.
They entered the offseason on a high note ready to begin a new era with new leadership, and to lose a top pick because of the sins of the previous regime would be devastating. In fact, several mock drafts from national media outlets have Orlando selecting number one overall. That's the point in the draft where many role players are drafted, and hidden gems can be found.
In 2016 the pick was protected in the top three and the Lakers kept it again.