Lakers’ Byron Scott favors NBA making ‘tweaks’ to draft lottery system

first_imgHow the ping pong balls bounce could largely determine the answer to a question the Lakers have pondered all season.How long will their rebuilding take? Will it involve a quick turnaround as the once-storied franchise shown it has done in the past? Or will this become more prolonged than two consecutive missed playoff appearances? The Lakers’ 106-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday at Staples Center provided only some clarity. The Lakers (21-58) will likely finish no worse than having the NBA’s fourth-worst record, which would give them an 11.9 percent chance in landing the top pick and 37.8 percent odds to move into the top three in the draft lottery on May 19. Still, the Lakers have a 17.2 percent chance to fall either sixth or seventh, forcing them to trade the pick to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash deal. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Some people might say that’s tanking, but you’re really trying to evaluate the talent you have so you can put the best team out for next year,” Scott said. “You want to get a look at some of our young guys and put them in situations to see how they react.”The reasoning seems logical. “When you have veteran players, you have a pretty good idea of what they can do,” Scott said. “You want to get a look at all the young guys you have and see if they can be a part of the future.”The Lakers offered some promise with five players scoring in double figures, including Ryan Kelly (21 points), Brown (19), Clarkson (18), Black (18) and Wesley Johnson (10). But that came against Minnesota, whose starting lineup also featured three rookies, including Andrew Wiggins (29 points), former UCLA standout Zach LaVine (16) and Adreian Payne (13). The Timberwolves roster also missed a combined 292 games because of various injuries. Yet, the Lakers maintain they still have a purpose. They need to win at least one more of their three remaining games to avoid cementing the worst winning percentage in franchise history, something the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers currently hold with a 19-53 mark in a 72-game season. That team won 26.3 percent of its games, while the current Lakers have won 26.58 percent of theirs.“There still is something to play for,” Scott said. “It’s not the playoffs or anything like that. But there’s just pride, being a professional and coming out and being a competitor.” center_img Even if the Lakers’ persistent losing could indirectly accelerate their rebuilding, coach Byron Scott expressed support for the NBA changing the lottery system. “I don’t know if you go like football where the team with the worst record gets the first pick,” Scott said. “Then you’ll have a whole lot of teams trying to tank during the season when they feel they have no hope of making the playoffs. I don’t know what the system is or if it needs to be completely overhauled. But it needs to be tweaked.”The Lakers have maintained they have not lost games intentionally. The Lakers assembled an unproven roster, but general manager Mitch Kupchak has said that mostly stemmed from wanting to maintain financial flexibility for the free agency sweepstakes in July. The Lakers also entered Friday’s contest fielding players missing combined 312 games due to injuries, the most costly absences including Kobe Bryant, Nash and Julius Randle. Meanwhile, Scott sat veteran forwards Carlos Boozer for the eighth time in the past 11 games as well as Jordan Hill for six of the last 11 contests. The Lakers also featured three rookies in their starting lineup, including Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Tarik Black. But Scott maintained those moves stemmed from a different line of thinking.last_img read more