Lakers in danger of committing cardinal sin ahead of 2024 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly want to hire a head coach before the 2024 NBA Draft. It's an obvious deadline. Right?
2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The idea of going through the NBA Draft without a coach to provide input on potential selections is one that will cause an eyebrow to raise in any basketball city. The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly hoping to avoid that fate, with a reported deadline of hiring a head coach by June 26.

Unfortunately, pride befalls some within the Lakers organization, as there's an apparent belief that they don't necessarily need to meet that deadline.

The Lakers are in possession of the No. 17 selection in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft. Los Angeles also has the No. 55 overall pick, thus giving it two opportunities to improve a roster that's presently short on depth and cap space.

According to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, some believe the decision on who to draft can be made without a head coach in place.

"While some inside the organization have said the team doesn’t necessarily need to hire a coach before the NBA draft on June 26-27, there are major decisions that need to be made regarding the roster, including the possibility of trading up to three first-round picks (No. 17 this year and unprotected firsts in 2029 and 2031) on draft night."

Let's not mince words: The fact that anyone in the organization would support going into the 2024 NBA Draft without a head coach in place is a serious cause for concern.

Lakers reportedly open to entering 2024 NBA Draft without a head coach

It's been said ad nauseam: A healthy organization is one in which the head coach and general manager act in unison. The front office adds players who the coach is willing to incorporate into their system and rotation, thus creating a culture of trust and communication.

That proven approach also prevents players from having their development stunted simply because a coach doesn't see what an executive does.

That's a risk that some members of the Lakers are seemingly willing to accept. Despite the fact that they could invest two valuable draft picks into players who the next head coach, JJ Redick or otherwise, has nothing for, they think that it'd be a selection worth making nonetheless.

It's a blatant disregard of the importance of culture and fit, and runs the risk of sabotaging one of the few opportunities the Lakers will have to improve the roster this summer.

In the event that LeBron James either re-signs or accepts his player option, and D'Angelo Russell accepts his, Los Angeles will go over the first apron. That would greatly limit its options in free agency, which is alarming considering how scarce its resources already are.

Effectively punting the NBA Draft because the front office thinks it can make a selection that the head coach will simply agree with no matter what would be paramount to expecting to hire the proverbial yes-man.

If that's what the Lakers are looking for, then expect more of the same from an organization that clearly needs to do something different.