Now Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is making the same argument.
First up: the Minnesota Timberwolves
If you were drafting for the Timberwolves, whom would you take No. 1?
Will the Los Angeles Lakers keep or trade the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft on June 25?
Of course, which center the Lakers might select depends on who is available.
How valuable is that pick? Potentially very valuable, Kupchak said.
Top 10 backcourts of all time
1. Terry Porter/Clyde Drexler
Years: 9+ (1985-86 to 1994-95)
All-Star appearances: 10
(Drexler 8, Porter 2)
2. Tony Parker/Manu Ginobili
A few quick case studies from Tuesday night:
Official position: 1st pick in the draft
Unofficial position: Ironic, but about time!
Los Angeles Lakers
Official position: 2nd pick in the draft
Unofficial position: We deserve it!
The draft is where crap turns to gold.
Official position: 3rd
Unofficial position: It could’ve gone better, but we knew the math.
Official position: 4th
Unofficial position: OK, we’ll take it. Anybody wanna trade us a star?
And I get that. Losing is painful, as one longtime NBA executive noted in our chat.
Desire. Isn’t that always the fuel that makes a lottery go?
The Lakers are more than relieved with how the lottery turned out.
Former Lakers star Magic Johnson also was optimistic
On the left sat John Black, the Los Angeles Lakers' vice president of public relations.
On the right, Brad Shron, the Philadelphia 76ers' executive vice president and general counsel.
Black tried to keep calm, but he feared the worst.
"I've been a nervous wreck," he said.
"It's been on my mind the whole time I've been here," he said.
Black hoped the ring would bring good luck.
If it didn't, he joked that he would throw it in the East River.
Kobe Bryant responded on Twitter:
Magic Johnson? His reaction was a little more hopeful:
Hey, at least one of the top prospects seemed to enjoy it ... we think.