NBA Rumors: Former Los Angeles Lakers Coach Byron Scott Reveals Why Team Did Not Draft Kristaps Porzingis

NBA rumors are swirling around Byron Scott. Now that he has been fired by the Los Angeles Lakers as their head coach, the former shooting guard has been spilling some information about the franchise. According to the New York Post, the Lakers declined to draft Kristaps Porzingis because of his conditioning during a tryout.

New York Knicks fans are among the toughest to please in professional sports. They’re as rough as Philadelphia Eagles fans, who mercilessly booed Santa Claus one year. Unless you’re a consensus favorite, then Knicks fans are going to hate if the team decides to spend a draft pick on you. Kristaps Porzingis was given a rude welcome to the NBA when Phil Jackson decided to spend a fourth overall selection on the Latvian forward.

As someone that has shown way more maturity than his age, Kristaps Porzingis has taken things in stride since the NBA Draft. He revels in the fact that he’s playing for the New York Knicks in a market that is a very demanding. Rather than being devastated by the pressure, Porzingis decided to use it as motivation. He’s one of two players to be unanimously selected to the rookie team.

NBA coach Byron Scott
Byron Scott [Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]

With the second overall pick in the NBA Draft last season, the Los Angeles Lakers had a chance to choose Kristaps Porzingis. Everyone knew that the Minnesota Timberwolves were going to be choosing Karl Anthony Towns. The former Kentucky Wildcats star was widely considered as the best prospect coming out of college.

The belief was that Jahlil Okafor was going to be selected by whatever team failed to secure the rights to Karl Anthony Towns. When the Los Angeles Lakers won the second overall select in the NBA draft, the belief was that Okafor was going to be their choice. He was going to team with Julius Randle to form one of the best front courts in basketball.

In bypassing a safe big man selection with Jahlil Okafor, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to go with D’Angelo Russell. The enigmatic guard was hard for the team to pass up, because people within the organization believed that he could become a dominant scorer in the NBA, like what Allen Iverson used to be. Guys like those are hard to find, as well.

Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell [Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]

During a recent interview, Byron Scott revealed that Kristaps Porzingis lost out on an opportunity to become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers because his condition was sub par while doing a tryout for the team. Since the Lakers wanted someone that could help Kobe Bryant right away, Porzingis was bypassed because he was viewed as more of a long term prospect.

There may be some truth to the Los Angeles Lakers and their concerns about Kirstaps Porzingis’ conditioning. The 7’3″ forward started off hot for the New York Knicks. He seemingly hit the rookie wall in the NBA during the middle portion of the season. Porzingis himself has admitted that he has had issues trying to keep his weight up because of the long season.

Julius Randle [Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The Los Angeles Lakers allowed Kristaps Porzingis to slip through their fingers. That worked out pretty well for the New York Knicks. For a team that does not have a ton of trade assets, they sure made out pretty well by choosing a dynamic big man that can make an impact for years to come.

Despite what scouts and journalists say, the NBA Draft is very much a crap shoot. There really is no telling what player is going to find success on the next level. The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t make them look too foolish.

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