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2023 NBA Draft: Rob Pelinka scouts Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson

The Lakers are unlikely to have a high draft pick this season, but the possibility isn’t zero. For that reason, general manager Rob Pelinka along with Jesse and Joey Buss — two people with a growing voice in the front office — took in the second showdown between Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson on Thursday afternoon.

On Tuesday, Wembanyama and Henderson showed out in a big way on a national stage. The two top prospects for the 2024 NBA Draft dazzled fans, Wembanyama scoring 37 points while Henderson had 28.

The two players could hardly be any more touted as prospects with both seen as generational talents. As a result, as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN notes, it could lead to an all-time tanking race.

The Lakers will not be taking part in that tanking race, though, for a number of reasons. Obviously, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster, you don’t tank. But it also would not matter as the Pelicans have the right to swap picks with the Lakers this season.

Technically, there’s a scenario where the Pelicans and Lakers get like the top two picks in the draft and LA is guaranteed the second pick and one of these two. If that scenario played out, I’d have to imagine Pelinka would not be the person in charge to make that selection.

Nonetheless, this is a free look at a top prospect in the same city you’re already in. It’d be silly for them NOT to take advantage of it, even if LeBron and Wembanyama are basically never going to be teammates on the Lakers.

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