5. On a scale of 1 (no chance) to 10 (high chance), do you see the Suns still acquiring the Lakers Top-5 protected pick?
Bourguet: I’ll give it a 3. Normally I’d go with a 2 since Kobe Bryant will miss the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff, but there’s a slight chance this ragtag bunch finds a way to surprise everyone and build some team chemistry without Kobe there to hijack everyone’s shots. It’s a teensy chance, mind you, but so is Phoenix’s chance of winning that pick this summer.
Chasen: At the beginning of the year I didn’t think there was a chance Phoenix would get that pick. Then LA gave me some hope, but I think I’m back with my original assessment, that the only way the Lakers don’t finish in the top five is if the franchise disbands before the end of the season. I’d give it about a 2 at this point, but I’m an optimist. Gosh LA is terrible. On the bright side of things, I still yell “Kobe” when I shoot things into the trash can, so there’s that.
Hann: With Kobe Bryant? A 6 or 7. Now that Kobe is out for the year? Uhh what’s lower than a 1? As luck would have it, the Lakers currently sit with the 4th worst record in the NBA, a mere 12 victories to their name. The 5th, 6th, and 7th worst records in the NBA all have at least 15 wins at this point in the season. With Bryant out for the year, the one player in the LA locker room who would not accept losing is now gone. On the bright-side, the Suns are almost assured of acquiring the Lakers first round pick next season when the protection is top 3.
Saar: With Kobe out for the season with the rotator-cuff injury it certainly does paint a bleak picture. I’d give it a three or a four out of ten. However, with several very bad teams in the league, I could still see it happening. Suns fans can stop stressing as the pick turns into a top-three protected first-rounder next year.
Schall: I’d put it at about 3. The Suns best chance was Kobe staying healthy, demanding some help and Lakers leadership reluctantly giving in. With the news that the Mamba is out for the season, Los Angeles can justify going into full tank mode. With that roster and this conference, it’s going to take some uncharacteristically inspired coaching from Byron Scott to turn this thing around.