Are Lakers on the Verge of a Total Screw-Up in NBA Draft?

The LA Lakers, coming off a season where one injury after another laid waste to a team already less talented than most teams in recent Lakers’ history, have a chance to obtain a talented player, or players, who could be a cornerstone for the future, either by drafting one of the seven best in the draft, or by trading the choice for more established talent. As the issue of what the team should do has been debated by commentators and fans for weeks, and as rumors have come and gone, there is reason now to worry that the team is about to commit a monumental error that could set the franchise back ever further – the

drafting of a player who has a significant history of major injuries, and who is now just a couple of days post-surgery.

The history of the NBA draft is replete with missteps, where teams made choices based on fantasy, ignoring facts. Big men with real or imagined talent have been taken at the top of the draft, year after year, many with suspicious histories of injury. Players such as Sam Bowie
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and Greg Oden never had a chance to display their talents in the NBA due to injuries, and players such as Yao Ming, Bill Walton, and Andrew Bynum have had their careers significantly disrupted and prematurely ended due to those injuries.

And now, reports are insistent that the Lakers will make a mistake that promises to mirror the Bowie and Oden picks, the choosing of Kansas center Joel Embiid with their number seven pick. Despite back problems that sidelined him for a portion of his ever so brief college career, “experts” had said he would be taken somewhere in the top four selections of the 2014 draft. But now, with the revelation that he had suffered a broken foot and that

he has now undergone surgery for the insertion of two screws into his foot, and with a recovery time of as long as eight months, his stock has fallen, but apparently not nearly far enough.

Lakers' fans should be hoping that such talk is no more than than, maybe even strategy to perhaps induce one of the teams drafting ahead of LA to pick
Embiid, providing them a shot at another, better choice.

However, from here I see a very different perspective: Management should be trying every avenue to trade that number seven pick. As I have said before, NONE of the top picks in this draft is a game changer, future hall-of-fame star of stars. I think Andrew Wiggins is by far the best all-around player in the draft, and every other top prospect has a significant down side. The best move the Lakers could make is a trade, and if it can get Kevin Love or even a slightly lessor talent, that is the move to make.

I guarantee that if the Lakers draft Embiid, they will regret it, and fans will ridicule it, for a decade to come, and likely far beyond.

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