Another tumultuous season is in the books for the Lakers. As the exit interviews wrap up, the focus now shifts toward the off-season. Once again, an important off-season lies in wait for a young team that, with a nine game improvement, seems to be on its way back up and out of the cellar. Here is the list of important dates that Laker fans need to keep an eye on during the summer:
May 16th: NBA Draft Lottery
It comes down to a top three pick once again for the Lakers this season. Laker fans need to put their lucky shirts on or sacrifice whatever object they need to make sure the Lakers keep their pick. Honestly though, unlike popular sentiment, this isn’t a make or break ball dropping. Yes, the Lakers could potentially lose this year and 2019’s draft picks, but the talent on the team now is enough to rebuild and already seems to be moving in the right direction. If the Lakers hadn’t gone full tank mode, I imagine this team would’ve won 32-34 games which would’ve been a massive leap in the right direction. That said, the chance to pick Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, or Lonzo Ball is a huge help for the future. The Lakers have a 46.9% chance to stay in the top 3 and a 15.6% chance of landing the top pick.
ESPN time TBD
June 22nd: NBA Draft
Whether or not the Lakers keep the top first rounder, it will still be important to watch for trades as well as the team’s second first round pick at 28. Should the Lakers lose their pick, it will be interesting to see if they make a trade to get into the uber talented top fifteen, or if they make a splash with the other pick they have at the later round. Regardless, the NBA Draft is a must watch for all Laker fans. Here is Draft Express’s Mock draft for this coming Lottery:
ESPN/NBA TV time TBD
July 1st: NBA Free Agency
It is unknown at this time when the NBA moratorium period will begin and end, but it is known that the timetable was shortened by five days. Thanks, DeAndre Jordan! So July 6th is the likely date when free agents can be signed. Free agents can still take meetings and make verbal commitments to sign with teams before that date. Depending on what the Lakers do with a few players, it looks like they will have enough cap room to sign at least one max contract this offseason. The “realistic” mega free agent list isn’t very long but there could be some solid fits. Here is Bleacher reports top 50 this summer:
July 1st-17th :Summer League
The Lakers usually participate in the last summer league which is held the last week in Las Vegas. Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac have already committed to attending the Summer League games. Hopefully the team’s top three pick will also be there, as well as the 28th pick. Since next year is both Larry Nance Jr’s and D’Angelo Russell’s 3rd season, they will not be attending.
NBAtv/ESPN times TBD
Beyond those key dates it is unknown when training camp will be and when the first preseason games will be. Of course, once that info is given and once the times for the broadcasts above are given we will update you the moment we receive them.
It was a tough season for the Lakers but things are looking up. I predict the Lakers will be a different team next year. Whether that is with the roster as it is currently constructed remains to be seen. Either way, I’m looking forward to the relief of the first hurdle on May 16th. Whether that’s a good relief or a bad relief will depend on how the balls fall.
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