Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson thinks that the Lakers need to get serious about losing so they can get a high draft pick in next year’s NBA draft.
Magic, who was speaking at a promotional event Tuesday in New York City, said that he hopes the Lakers will lose enough games to contend for a top draft pick next summer.
“I hope the Lakers lose every game,” Magic said. “Because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious.”
The Lakers are currently 5-15, which is the second worst record in the western conference and fifth worst in the entire NBA.
Last season, the Lakers finished with a record of 27-55, and subsequently received a top-ten draft pick, which they used on Julius Randle. Unfortunately for Randle and the Lakers, Randle broke his leg in his NBA regular season debut and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
“If you’re going to lose, you have to lose because you can’t be in the middle of the pack,” Magic said. “You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick.”
The Lakers will have a great deal of cap space heading into free agency next season, as Kobe Bryant, Ryan Kelly, Julius Randle and Nick Young are the only players on the Lakers’ roster that are guaranteed to be under contract next season.
Magic believes that the Lakers, who, for the most part, have always been a free agent destination, can quickly turn their fortunes around with the right moves in the off-season and a high lottery pick.
“The Lakers are in a good space, too, next summer if they can sign or trade for a talented guy,” Magic said. “I’d rather be all the way bad than be in the middle.”
It’s expected that the 2015 NBA draft class will be full of freshman, so potential prospects for the Lakers include Texas freshman center Myles Turner, Arizona freshman forward Stanley Johnson and UCLA freshman forward Kevon Looney.
There’s no question that the Lakers will do everything they can to load up on talent next off-season in an attempt to give Kobe Bryant one last chance at his sixth championship. It’s been rumored that the Lakers will target upcoming free agents such as Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and, if they can’t get Love, they may throw a big contract at Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is a free agent after this season.
Unless something incredible happens, Magic Johnson will get his wish and the Lakers will have a very good draft pick in 2015.
[Image via USA Today]