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The Reality of Why the Lakers Passed on Jayson Tatum

Photo: Ezra Shaw

Doug Gottlieb: "If you don't like reality, if you like saying Rob Pelinka is an idiot, you can do that. But let's also catch our breath for a second. The reality is, and I know this from several high-place sources in the Lakers, the Lakers wanted to work out Jayson Tatum, Jayson Tatum's agent refused to let him work out. Now, it was within good reason. One, the Lakers had their sights set on Lonzo Ball. Two, they already had Brandon Ingram, not as skilled of a shooter as Tatum, but there was a lot of similarities there. There's also a very good possibility that Tatum had no idea that his agent wouldn't let the Lakers talk to or work him out. His agent knew that Lonzo was going 2. But if you think that Jayson Tatum, who was close with Kobe Bryant, who was represented by Rob Pelinka... if you think that Rob Pelinka did not want to take at least a look, if not make a run, at Jayson Tatum, you don't understand the reality of this. And, it was a screw up by Magic, who was infatuated with Lonzo Ball."

Doug Gottlieb reveals a key factor that led to the Los Angeles Lakers selecting Lonzo Ball over Jayson Tatum in the 2017 NBA Draft. Doug breaks down why Tatum's representation at the time got in the way of the Lakers working him out, despite Tatum's connection to Kobe Bryant and desire to play for the Lakers. However, Doug also acknowledges Magic Johnson's infatuation with Lonzo Ball becoming the next great Lakers point guard as a major contributing factor in selecting Ball second overall.