There has been a lot of news recently coming out of the Los Angeles Lakers camp regarding who they may or may not choose with the second pick in the NBA Draft.
The reports about how the Lakers may pass on Lonzo Ball have come as a shock to everyone because it seemed that he was destined to be selected at #2. If the Lakers do make the mistake on passing on the very talented point guard out of UCLA, they will however have plenty other talented prospects to choose from. Let us take a look at the prospects that the Lakers may value at the number two spot.
Josh Jackson will be able to come in right away and be the Los Angeles Lakers most developed defensive player and have the highest competitive motor. Jackson is the best defensive perimeter player in this years draft and he has a high IQ on that side of the ball.
His athletic ability is off the charts and it seems like the ball always seems to find him. At the University of Kansas, Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game in his freshman season.
Most of Jackson’s offensive scoring came from the transition game and his ability to beat his man off the dribble with his explosive first step. Once he is able to get an inch of separation when headed towards the rim, it is going to be a rim-rattling jam. Jackson is also a very good finisher around the rim, and will definitetly be a slashing guard/forward in today’s NBA.
Jackson will need to improve on his shooting motion because it seems to be rushed and different every time he goes up for a shot. If he ever develops a consistent jumper, this kid may become the best player in this draft due to his constant hustle and heart mixed with his skills as a player.
Projected Lakers role: Jackson would either be a starting shooting guard or small forward for the Lakers. If he were to be the 3, the Lakers would slide Ingram down to the 4. Ingram and Jackson would be an elite pairing defensively and would be great to see on the fast break.
Besides Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum is the most skilled player offensively left on the board. Once the ball is in this mans hands, he is able to score on you in a variety of ways.
During his freshman season at Duke University, Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 34.2% from three. His strongest skill is that he is a dangerous scorer in iso situations. It is rare for a kid this young to be able to score in the fashion he does, so he’d be an instant upgrade for the Lakers offensively who lack players that can score without being set up.
Jayson Tatum’s post-game is also one of the main reasons why he should be considered as the number two pick. He has a ton of moves to go to once he is down low in the post, due to his amazing footwork. Many scouts believe his ceiling is Paul Pierce, which would be an amazing career for Tatum.
The weaknesses in Tatum’s game is that he isn’t the best defender, lacks athleticism for a small forward in the game today and that he isn’t that willing of a passer. These will all need to be fixed when he gets to the NBA since more teams are adapting to run-and-gun style of play and elite defensive wing talent to carry the team.
Projected Lakers role: Tatum would fit best at the small forward position on this current Lakers roster, and would most likely come off the bench in his first year. He would be a great scorer off the bench and give the Lakers much needed stability with that second unit.
Like Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox plays at full speed the entire game. Fox has incredible athletic ability for the point guard position, with many scouts comparing him to the former University of Kentucky point guard John Wall.
De’Aaron Fox has the ability to drive past you with his quickness and his tremendous handles. Once he is able to get past you, he uses his leaping ability and shiftiness to either get around you for a lay-up or throw it down over you.
Fox on the defensive side will guard the opposing player immediately once he gets the ball. It is very reminiscent of how Patrick Beverly defends, and a great defensive point guard is rare in today’s game so any team would be lucky to have Fox’s skill.
He averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists during his only season at Kentucky. Fox’s biggest weakness is his ability to shoot the long ball. Although Fox’s shooting motion looks smooth, his percentage does not. He shot 24.6% from three, which has many teams worried that he would not be able to space the floor at the next level.
Projected Lakers role: Fox would become the starting point guard if selected at #2, which means D’Angelo Russell would slide down to the shooting guard position. Fox would guard the best guard the other team has, and would look to drive and kick to his teammates on the offensive side of the ball.
So, if the Lakers do decide to not select Lonzo Ball, expect one of these three guys to be selected at that spot. Each one of these players has a unique skill set that would be a great addition to a team that needs more young talent.