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NBA Draft 2017: Lakers unlikely to pick Lonzo Ball after fifth straight victory

PHOTOGRAPH: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia Commons | Lonzo Ball of the UCLA Bruins

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 108-96, who played without Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday night at Staples Center. The Lakers are currently on a five-game winning streak and may fail to acquire Lonzo Ball in the NBA Draft 2017.

While some NBA teams are focused in the postseason, teams like the Lakers already keep their eyes in the upcoming offseason, especially in the NBA Draft 2017. As what most people expected, the Lakers ended up as one of the worst teams in the league once again. However, they will still benefit from losing since it will help them secure their 2017 first-round pick.

After shutting down starters Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng, and Nick Young, the Lakers openly accept the idea of tanking. If they fail to acquire a top-three pick, they will lose their 2017 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Acquiring another young talent will speed up the rebuilding process which could help them immediately return to title contention.

NBA Draft 2017: Lakers will .fail to acquire Lonzo Ball

In most mock drafts, the Lakers are expected to land UCLA Bruins star Lonzo Ball. Ball recently expressed his interest in joining the purple and gold. He said that he would rather play for the Lakers than be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft 2017. An unselfish point guard like Ball will undeniably be a great addition to the Lakers.

He could be a good backcourt tandem with D’Angelo Russell, who’s currently making himself fit at the shooting guard position. However, with the current situation, the Lakers may fail to acquire Ball and even lose their 2017 first-round pick. After beating the Pelicans, the Lakers earned their fifth straight victory for the first time in four years.

Metta World Peace led the Lakers 18 points, four rebounds, and four steals. He also knocked down four three-pointers. Coach Luke Walton, who strongly disagreed with the idea of tanking, praised World Peace and his young players for their past performances.

“Part of it definitely was for Metta, but it’s fun to coach these guys when they’re playing the way they’ve been playing the last few weeks,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “When they’re playing with passion and to compete. When that happens as a coach you can sit back and enjoy that.”

NBA Draft 2017: Lakers have 47 percent chance of having a top three pick

Regardless of the outcome of their game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the Lakers will still end up as the third worst team in the league this season. This will give them a 47 percent chance of acquiring a top three pick in the upcoming draft.

Photo courtesy: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia Commons

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