Rob Pelinka calls No.4 pick a ‘powerful asset’ for Lakers
In the first of what was many shocking moments on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers moved up seven spots in the NBA Draft Lottery to nab the No.4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Lakers have had terrific luck in the lottery in recent years — from their run of three straight No.2 overall picks (D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball) to now this year. The Lakers came into the evening with only a 9.4 percent chance of moving up into the Top 4. Couple that with a minuscule 2.8 percent chance of landing the No.4 overall pick, and you have something of a miracle on your hands.
Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka was quite beatific after the lottery, per Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
Lakers' Rob Pelinka, who moved up to the No. 4 draft spot, said he spent all morning praying. His son's advice was "to bring optimism" rather than a lucky charm. Called the No. 4 pick a "powerful asset" and said Lakers owe it to their fans "put a winning team out there next yera"
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 15, 2019
Indeed, once the Lakers signed LeBron James in the 2018 offseason, the team was expected to be an immediate contender. Instead, Pelinka and his erstwhile colleague Magic Johnson frittered away cap space on players that did not fit with LeBron – despite being an extremely entertaining group of misfits called “The Meme Team.”
Since this pick is now far more valuable than it would have been, it seems likely that this draft selection will be made by another team so that the Lakers can swing a trade of some kind to pick up proven talent to play alongside LeBron in the final three years of his four-year contract.