The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. It is not your typical two-seven matchup as the Lakers have been playing fantastic basketball since the deadline and enter this series with a lot more people picking them than the typical seventh seed.
It is going to be a battle regardless. Memphis and Los Angeles have been the two best teams since the deadline and both have strengths and flaws that are going to clash. When it is all said and done, this series is likely going to be the most entertaining first-round series in all of the NBA Playoffs.
While it will be entertaining, it will also be a painful reminder of the young star that the Lakers fumbled away. One of Memphis’ most important players was en route to donning the purple and gold but instead, he now finds himself on the opposite side of the Lake Show.
Grizzlies playoff series is a reminder that the Lakers should have had Desmond Bane.
The Grizzlies drafted Bane with the 30th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Originally slated to have the 28th overall pick in the same draft after winning the NBA Championship was the Lakers.
However, instead of taking a young prospect to build into the rotation, the team flipped one role player for another and included a draft pick. Los Angeles traded Danny Green and the 28th pick for Dennis Schroder, which is still one of the worst moves Pelinka has made as general manager.
The Minnesota Timberwolves ended up with that pick and took Jaden McDaniels, who is another nice young player that the Lake Show could have had instead of one year of Schroder (before he eventually returned).
However, if Los Angeles would not have traded that pick then it is more than likely that Bane would have been the selection. Bane told Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation that he interviewed with the Lakers during the pre-draft process and felt that there was mutual interest between both parties.
It all checks out as Bane is exactly the kind of role player that the Lakers would have liked to add next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The 24-year-old guard averaged 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season while shooting 47.9% from the field, 40.8% from three and 88.3% from the free-throw line. Oh, and he did all this while being an above-average defender.
Hopefully, Bane doesn’t end up playing a big role in sending the Lake Show home in the first round because if he does then we could ultimately boil the result down to this one draft mistake three years ago.