Los Angeles Lakers: What Happens If They Lose Their Pick?

Much of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ offseason chatter has been around who the team will select in the upcoming NBA Draft. Nearly every article details the vast list of needs the Lakers have, speculations on possible fits, and one well-documented caveat: the team could potentially lose its draft choice to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls out of the top-five in the lottery.

It’s a scenario that is not likely — there’s a 17.2 percent chance that the pick falls out of the top-five — but it’s one that exists whether fans want to acknowledge it or not.

And it’s time to talk about it.

If the Los Angeles Lakers lose their pick, how does it change the fortunes of their franchise?

Losing the draft pick means that the Lakers will not have the opportunity to add a player like this:

Or like this:

Missing out on a potential franchise-changing talent because of a few ping-pong balls could be devastating. Given the top-heavy look of this draft, the franchise looks to be prime position to add a real piece to their rebuilding efforts if they are able to hang on to the selection.

If that pick is taken away, the entire Los Angeles Lakers organization could fall into a panic. This could lead to spending on bad contracts for Rajon Rondo washed-up veterans, and end up setting the franchise back in the long-run.

While this is simply speculation — it all is — it’s worth noting that Jeanie Buss has essentially put the front office on the clock, and she feels that they have the tools to get a rebuild done quickly, starting with this summer.

Losing out on a top-five draft choice robs the Lakers of the dream scenario of placing another talented youngster with promising point guard Jordan Clarkson, super-talented forward Julius Randle, and a solid cast of role players, to create a sound, young core for the roster.

More importantly, it strongly weakens the case for star free agents to flee their current situations and head to Los Angeles.

With a handful of star free agents this offseason, and perhaps the best class ever in 2016, the ability for Lakers to build an attractive enough roster to be enticing to free agents is a huge part of a quick rebuild. It’s certainly possible that the current batch of youngsters could turn out to be special, but adding a top-five talent would set this squad up to be very interesting to potential free agents.

Perhaps the most devastating side effect to the Los Angeles Lakers losing their draft choice this year would be the massive gut punch the fans would take from such a scenario.

After sitting through 82 games of mostly horrendous basketball, with very few highlights to speak of, losing the potential for a promising, exciting season in 2015-16 would be an unthinkable situation for many Laker-faithful. The idea of sitting through a third horrific season, and a near-identical repeat of last season’s “effort” could lead to one of the biggest uproars in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers fan base.

The clock is ticking down to the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery. One of the biggest summers in Los Angeles Lakers history is almost here.

The most crucial step is in the “hands” of a bunch of ping-pong balls.