Why LA Lakers Must Pick a Big Man in 2014 Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers have gaping holes to fill in their frontcourt. This year’s draft could provide an opportunity to start filling that chasm.

Yes, Australian wonderkid Dante Exum could potentially be a point guard of the future, but let’s get real—he’ll most likely be gone by the time the Lakers are on the clock come the night of June 26, 2014.

The Lakers ended the season with the sixth-worst record in the NBA. On May 20, they will be one of 14 teams at the annual draft lottery, watching the ping-pong balls bounce and hoping against hope for that magic No. 1 pick.

The odds are not in their favor. Eric Pincus for the Los Angeles Times breaks it down:

The NBA will give out 1,000 combinations of four ping pong balls to the 14 lottery teams. In sixth position, the Lakers will get 63 combinations, giving 6.3% odds of landing the top pick, 7.1% the second and 8.1% the third.

After the first three selections, the remaining 11 teams slot in order of record, worst to best. The Lakers can't move up to four or five. The odds of staying at six is 43.9%. The Lakers also have a 30.5% chance of dipping to seven, 4.0% of falling to eight but just 0.1% of falling to nine.

The good news is that the top of this year’s draft is filled with intriguing frontcourt players, and that’s what the evolving game of basketball demands—high-octane bigs who can get from one end of the court to the other in a hurry and score the ball.

Positionless, entertaining basketball will be the norm of the future, and point guards like Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall just need to be able to hit a galloping gazelle like Aaron Gordon in stride for the thunder dunk. Ka-Boom!

And if you’re not a small-ball fanatic that’s OK—some of these draft prospects also bang down low on the block.

OK, so all of this is overly simplistic and doe...

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