The Los Angeles Lakers are still in the middle of a rebuilding process and entering the playoffs remains a tough goal. With their recent performance, some people believe that the Lakers are “purposely tanking” in order to secure their 2017 first-round pick. However, coach Luke Walton denies the speculations, saying it could affect the team in the long run.
The Lakers’ surprising 10-10 start in the 2016-17 NBA season created a false hope that they are near to return to contention. What seemed like a smooth rebuilding process turned out to be a rough road the Lakers should take to become a great team again. They went through ups and downs and became inconsistent in most of their games.
After a promising performance earlier this season, they only won six of their last 22 games. The suffered losses in winnable games and done multiple mistakes which are expected from a young team. At some point, the Lakers could somehow benefit with their dismal performance this season.
Lakers tanking to secure 2017 first-round pick
According to Lakers Nation, the Lakers’ 2017 first-round pick will be protected if they obtain one of the three top picks. Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram were the results of their years of tanking. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they do it again since they aren’t capable of contending for the title for now.
However, coach Luke Walton strongly disagreed with the idea. The 36-year-old rookie coach doesn’t believe in any type of tanking and stated that it can backfire on the roster in the long run.
“When you start losing on purpose I think the basketball gods come back to get you in the long run,” Walton said. If the Lakers fall outside of the top-3, they would lose their 2017 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Also, they would forfeit their 2019 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic as part of the 2012 Dwight Howard trade.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com