LA Lakers: Why Future Draft Picks Are Worthless to LA Lakers in Kobe Bryant Era
The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing draft picks like they're going out of style over the past few seasons.
They haven't had a first-round pick since they selected Tony Douglas at No. 29 in the 2009 NBA Draft.
There's a reason why the Lakers hand out draft picks like candy, and it's not because they don't value young talent. It's because they have a player named Kobe Bryant. A player whose career has been defined by playing with talent acquired through free agency instead of through the NBA draft.
Since trading for Kobe in the 1996 NBA draft, the Lakers have only made 10 selections in the first round, and they've only had one lottery pick—which came in 2005 when they drafted Andrew Bynum with the No. 10 selection.
It's amazing that the Lakers have only been a lottery team once in the past 16 years, and the person they have to thank for that is none other than the Black Mamba.
In what we'll call the "Kobe era," the value of the Lakers' draft picks has been on the decline, but surprisingly, that hasn't kept teams from continually involving themselves in trades for them.
The first reason why the Lakers' draft picks are worthless in the "Kobe era" is because they're going to almost always be in the mid-to-late 20s.
Since 1996, the lowest pick the Lakers have had (aside from the No. 10 pick in 2005) was the No. 19 selection back in 2007 when they selected Javaris Crittenton. We all know how that worked out.
Should the L.A. Lakers stop trading away their draft picks, and build for the future through the draft?
Finding legitimate NBA talent in the late parts of the first and second round isn't an easy task, and the Lakers know that. That's why they don't hold on to their draft picks.
Of the Lakers' 31 draft picks since 1996, excluding Bynum, the only players who stand out as being legitimate NBA players are Ronny Turiaf, Jordan Farmar and Toney Douglas. If that's the kind of talent the Lakers can get with their picks, it's no wonder why they traded four of them to the Suns for a two-time MVP point guard in Steve Nash.
With a starting lineup of players like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, there is no chance that the Lakers' draft picks over the next three years will be any higher than the 25-to-30 and 55-to-60 range.
While there's always a possibility of finding talented players in that area of the draft, the odds of actually doing it are slim-to-none.
The final reason why draft picks in the "Kobe era" are worthless for the Lakers is that Kobe seems to prefer playing with established talent rather than trying to win championships with unproven players.
The Lakers find themselves pursuing free agents more than they do draft prospects, and the person behind that is Kobe. He's a player who knows what he wants, and he happens to play for a franchise that caters to those desires. That's not a bad thing, it's just how the Lakers franchise functions, and having that luxury is the foundation of their success over the past decade.
Draft picks, for some teams, are valuable commodities to hold onto. But for the Lakers, they are merely trade bait to entice teams to part ways with their free agents.
The Lakers have a good thing going with how they handle their draft picks, and while Kobe is on their roster, I don't think they'll change.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?