Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka to represent Lakers at NBA Draft Lottery
The new regime is in place, and the NBA offseason has already begun for the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic Johnson takes the helm as new president of basketball operations while former agent Rob Pelinka makes a career change becoming Mitch Kupchak’s successor as general manager.
Along with all the work this new front office duo will be tasked with this summer, Pelinka and Johnson will represent the team during the crucial NBA Draft Lottery on May 16, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
"Lakers President of Basketball Operations and 1979 No. 1 overall pick Magic Johnson will represent the team at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16."
Pelinka will be in the behind-the-scenes role during the lottery, via Trudell:
"While Magic will handle the televised portion of the event, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka will represent the team in the back where the lottery combinations will actually be drawn."
It will be a nerve-racking day for the Lakers brass along with all the team’s fans and anyone connected with the organization. Los Angeles will head into the draft lottery having less than favorable odds to retain their top-three protected draft pick.
As a result of the Lakers finishing the season with the third-worst record in the NBA at 26-56, Johnson and company have a 49.6 percent chance of keeping their lottery pick. It remains to be seen whether that is enough to have the ping pong balls bounce their way on May 16.
If the Lakers lose their pick next month, it will be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the Steve Nash trade of 2012. Philadelphia could come out as big winners if that does happen with the 76ers potentially having two lottery picks in a deep draft class.
As for Los Angeles, the team will lose the opportunity to either bring in another talented young player like UCLA’s Lonzo Ball or Josh Jackson of Kansas or use the pick along with other assets to make a trade for a proven star like Paul George or Jimmy Butler.
Needless to say, a lot will be on the line for the storied franchise when the results of the NBA Draft Lottery are announced in a few weeks time with Johnson and Pelinka in attendance.