Assuming the Los Angeles Lakers select Lonzo Ball with pick #2, the Lakers also have another pick in the first round at #28. The Los Angeles Lakers have excelled in recent years with their draft picks that were late first or second round selections. Those players include Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance and Ivica Zubac, all of whom played significant minutes last year, produced well for them and will be a part of their future going forward. Now let’s take a look at some players that could still be on the board when the Lakers are on the clock for the second time that night.
TJ Leaf would be a great fit for the Los Angeles Lakers who are in dire need of a stretch 4. Leaf shot 46.6% from behind the arc in his freshman year campaign at UCLA, and it would be a very intriguing selection especially if the Lakers draft Ball at 2. This pairing would reunite the former college teammates who excelled at running in transition together.
Leaf put up nice stats last year as well at the young age of 20, averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Leaf showed that he is a willing passer out of the post and will find the open man when the double team comes toward him. At 6’10”, Leaf definitely has the height to match up with other forwards, he would just need to hit the weight room in the offseason to not get bullied in the post. He can move very well for someone his size and has great athleticism.
NBA Ceiling: Kevin Love
The only reason Harry Giles may fall to the Lakers at 28 is because of his knees. Without his knee concern’s, he would likely be selected in the lottery. Being able to steal Giles at 28 would be huge for the Lakers since Giles is tremendously talented.
Being the #1 ranked prospect coming out of high school, the ceiling was the roof for this kid. At 19, he struggled as a Duke Blue Devil since he was coming off knee surgery as a senior in high school. He lacked his normal mobility on defense so he would end up in early foul trouble in most of the games he played in as a freshman. Being behind a fifth-year senior also limited Giles’ development and it is also why Coach K had such a short leash on playing Giles.
Despite the injury concerns and a very up and down freshman year, his talent still stands out. Above, watch how effortless he makes this huge play in the ACC semifinal game look. He is a very skilled rim protector and his ability to guard the perimeter player’s makes him stand out compared to other big men in this draft. His defensive upside would be a tremendous boost to a Lakers team that is in need of a big man with defensive abilities. Giles will definitely need to improve his offensive game, but if he can stay away from the injuries he will be able to work on that for the next few years.
NBA Ceiling: Kevin Garnett
Outside of the people that watched the PAC-12 in the regular season, Jordan Bell was unknown to the rest of the world. Bell turned some heads and showed that he was the best defensive anchor in college during March Madness. Jordan Bell is a 22-year-old 6’9″ power forward who will probably have to play center at the NBA level due to his offensive limitations. However, Bell’s defensive abilities separate him from the pack.
Look above to see just how much of a dominate presence he has. That is a top 5 pick in Josh Jackson that he is rejecting and making life miserable for. He is able to jump out of the gym and takes pride in sending your shots to the upper deck. It is no surprise that he won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year award while averaging 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. On the offensive side, look for Bell to get the majority of his points off of lobs from the pick and roll. He would be a perfect fit next to Julius Randle and would anchor a defensive that needs his talent the most.
NBA Ceiling: DeAndre Jordan
Semi Ojeleye is what many scouts and NBA GM’s are drooling over these days; he is a 3 and D player. At the age of 22, Semi averaged 18.9 points 6.8 rebounds and shot 42% from three during his junior year at SMU. Being able to get him at the 28th pick would be huge as he would be Brandon Ingram’s back-up.
Ojeleye is a tremendous athlete who can jump thru the roof. Since Ojeleye has a big build, he will be able to play both the 3 and 4, which will allow him to be on the court for longer periods of time. An interesting fact about Ojeleye is that he led the NCAA in pick and pop spot up jumper’s efficiency, which would be amazing for Lakers fans to see with D’Angelo dishing it to him. Ojeleye is also a decent iso player who can score on his own if needed.
NBA Ceiling: Andre Iguodala