What Does Slip in NBA Draft Lottery Mean for Los Angeles Lakers’ Rebuild?

It's been more than 34 years since the Cleveland Cavaliers practically gift-wrapped the pick that became the No. 1 selection in the 1982 NBA draft, and James Worthy therein, to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade that saw Butch Lee and Don Ford swap cities.

On Tuesday, the Lakers finally got their comeuppance for that Showtime-fueling fortune—and the Cavs some cosmic redemption for one of former owner Ted Stepien's myriad mistakes—when Cleveland hit the jackpot in this year's draft lottery.

With "Big Game" James in studio representing the Lakers, no less.

That pushed L.A.'s slot to No. 7, down from the sixth spot to which the team's record would've otherwise entitled it.

The Lakers may be upset that their chances of adding either Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid to their barren roster have likely gone up in smoke, but L.A.'s bad luck with pingpong balls needn't, shouldn't and probably won't have too dramatic an effect on its impending rebuild.

The seventh pick should still afford the Lakers a purple-and-golden opportunity to pluck a promising, young prospect out of a draft pool replete with them. At present, Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report's draft guru, has the Lakers taking Kentucky freshman phenom Julius Randle on June 26. Said Wasserman of Randle:

Randle measured in at 6'9" with a 7'0" wingspan, so there shouldn't be any concerns regarding his size or length. He's a bully on that low block, whether he's initiating contact to separate from defenders or he's outworking them on the offensive glass. 

For opposing bigs, he's a mismatch in space facing the rim, with the foot speed and handle to attack and score on the move. 

Not bad, especially when factoring in the perimeter shot that Randle didn't get to trot out very often during his lone season in Lexington.

L.A. could have plenty of other juicy options at its d...

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