L.A. Lakers Trade Rumors: NBA Draft Lottery Could Lose Lakers’ Draft Pick To Philadelphia 76ers

L.A. Lakers trade rumors reveal the team is ready in case it loses that first-round draft pick. Many Lakers rumors have come up over the past few months in that regard, as the franchise runs the risk of losing its first-round selection during the NBA Draft Lottery. It all comes down to the Philadelphia 76ers owning the rights to that pick if it falls outside of the first three selections. So if a team with a good record wins the NBA Draft Lottery, then the Lakers may lose an elite prospect this summer. That would be really bad news for a rebuilding team.

A report by ESPN stated that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is ready if the worst-case scenario takes place. The franchise already has a plan in place as to the course of action if the 76ers wind up taking away that valuable first-round pick. This is where many new L.A. Lakers trade rumors are expected to surface, as the team has a lot of young talent, but could use an infusion of veteran leadership during the NBA offseason. In what form that comes, though, may be a guarded secret for now. It could include a blockbuster trade that many NBA analysts have predicted.

“Listen, I think you have to be prepared for whatever scenario when you’re looking at a random event like the lottery. People are asking, ‘Do you guys have to have to that pick?’ That’s something that I get asked at every single game. I think we’re prepared to have it, and we also have a plan if we don’t. I think for us, if we get the lottery balls to bounce our way, yes, we have a great attack-plan for the draft. But if we don’t, just like [many famous] sports moments, we have to find a way, and we do have a plan, to still get to where our ultimate destination is without the draft pick.”

Jordan Clarkson Playing For Los Angeles Lakers Agaisnt Cleveland Cavaliers
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There have been a lot of Los Angeles Lakers trade rumors over the past two NBA seasons, in part due to how terrible the franchise has been. This is even though the team has been able to add pieces like point guard D’Angelo Russell, forwards Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram, and center Ivica Zubac. The NBA Draft has been kind to the team over the past few years, but the players haven’t been able to put it all together on the court just yet. It’s possible that with Magic Johnson helping with player acquisitions that things could shift quickly.

The Lakers won five of their last six regular season games this year, showing that the team might be starting to come together. That could possibly hurt the 2017 NBA draft results, though, as the team dropped from being second-worst to the third-worst team in the league. If the team is somehow able to retain a top-three selection in the NBA draft order, then that new player will get added to a core of players that continues to improve. Could that be enough to finally get the Lakers back to the NBA Playoffs?

The Lakers have about a 47 percent chance of their pick falling among the first three slots during the NBA Draft Lottery. The team has a good percentage of chances at even landing the No. 1 overall pick, guaranteeing one of the two best players available on the draft board. At this point, though, the franchise would be ecstatic to simply remain within the top-three selections, as anything else would award the Philadelphia 76ers with yet another lottery pick.

Brandon Ingram Dunks For Los Angeles Lakers Against Charlotte Hornets
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This all goes back to the Steve Nash trade when the Lakers dealt that first-round selection (top-three protected) to acquire the former MVP point guard. Nash never worked out with the Lakers and several years later the trade is still coming back to haunt the franchise. If the team loses that pick during the NBA Draft Lottery, then fans should expect even more NBA trade rumors to surface about the team. Magic Johnson is going to look to make moves either way, so there are going to be a lot of Los Angeles Lakers trade rumors as free agency approaches.

[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]