As any self-respecting Laker-hater knows, the L.A. Lakers would have lost their pick in the 2016 NBA Draft if it fell below third in the 2016 NBA Draft lottery.
So naturally, Golden State Warriors PR director Raymond Ridder had a little bit of fun with future Lakers coach Luke Walton, who is probably more consumed with how to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder than the result of a ping pong ball lottery.
Before lottery, Warriors PR czar Raymond Ridder texted Luke Walton that Lakers got 4th pick. Luke fell for the prank, now has last laugh.— Bill Oram (@billoram) May 18, 2016
Of course, as you may have heard by now, the Lakers got a little bit of luck and found themselves with the second pick in the draft, where they'll have an opportunity to get one of the draft's premiere talents to add to a roster that already features 2015 second pick D'Angelo Russell.
Even luckier, with the Philadephia 76ers getting the first pick in the draft, DraftExpress has the Lakers selecting LSU's Ben Simmons. Although there has been a question as to whether Simmons or Duke's Brandon Ingram should go first in the draft, Simmons has widely been considered as the top prospect for most of the year and has drawn favorable comparisons to a familiar face for Walton, according to DraftExpress' updated extended mock draft published shortly after the lottery.
It will be interesting to see how the Lakers fit the non-shooting Simmons alongside the ball-dominant backcourt of D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, but there really isn't much of a choice here. New head coach Luke Walton could try and mold Simmons into a bigger and more athletic version of Draymond Green, which could help quite a bit alongside as many shooters as possible.
But nobody here is rooting for the Lakers anyway.
Well the Lakers have the #2 draft pick, Luke Walton, and some cap space so I assume Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are gonna do something stupid— Spectacular, imo (@lavozdelos8O) May 18, 2016
DraftExpress' extended mock draft also features a brief breakdown on the Warriors' projected pick, DeAndre Bembry.
The Warriors have a great deal of talent, and finding a player who can contribute this late in the draft is challenging. Shoring up their guard and wing rotation with a heady and versatile player like Bembry makes sense. He does a little bit of everything with his ball-handling, passing and athleticism, and if he can become a more consistent shooter he will be a longtime NBA player.
Derek Bodner of USA Today Sports reported on Sunday that Bembry improved his stock at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, specifically by showing that he might be a more consistent shooter than he's given credit for. If that's true — and everything else DX counts as his strengths hold true — he could be a nice addition (or at least a good developmental piece) this late in a draft that's widely considered weak.
For more on Bembry, check out the full DraftExpress video below. For more on that team down south that Luke Walton will be coaching next year, check out the reaction from our friends at Silver Screen & Roll.