The Victor Wembanyama hype train is in full steam right now. The last time there was this much hype surrounding a projected first-overall pick in an upcoming draft was probably back in 2019 when the New Orleans Pelicans ended up landing Zion Williamson. At this point, the possibility of the Pels getting their hands on two generational talents within the span of four years has become increasingly probable — and this is all thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pelicans own the Lakers’ first-round pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, which they obtained as part of the Anthony Davis trade several years ago. At 3-10, LA has one of the worst records in the entire NBA at the moment, and if this trend continues, LeBron James and Co. will be heading to the lottery with one of the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein (paywalled), this potential reality is becoming a real concern within the Lakers organization right now:
There is already a palpable fear inside (what I still like to call) Staples Center that the Purple & Gold are careening toward a draft in June in which the New Orleans Pelicans are gleefully positioned to swap picks with L.A. as a condition of the Anthony Davis blockbuster deal in July 2019.
As if things weren’t bad enough already for the Lakers. Right now, they are well on their way to handing over Wembanyama to the Pelicans, who could potentially join Zion, CJ McCollum, and All-Star forward Brandon Ingram. Let’s not forget that it was also LA who gave Ingram away to New Orleans as well during the Anthony Davis trade.
The good news for the Lakers is that they still have time to turn it around. They secured a big win over Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, and LA is just hoping that this is the start of something good for them.