The Los Angeles Lakers hold the No.22 overall pick in this year’s draft and with how much depth reigns in this class, the value at No.22 is could be better than expected in a normal year.
When examining the Lakers’ needs, what continuously comes up is the lack of shooting and offensive scoring outside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
With that said, Los Angeles has nine free agents this summer (not including Montrezl Harrell, who has a player option), so this pick may come in a compete for a rotation spot, depending on who the team brings back.
Let’s look at some of the options for the Lakers to consider with this selection.
Cameron Thomas – LSU
Thomas is about as gifted as a scorer as you are going to find in this draft. He averaged 23.0 points per game on 40.6% shooting during his lone season at LSU, showcasing the ability to be a multi-facet scorer which should translate to the next level.
Thomas, who was a consensus five-star recruit from the historic Oak Hill Academy, matches precisely what the Lakers need, which is why we have him mocked to the Lakers in our NBA Mock Draft 4.0
Chris Duarte – Oregon
Duarte is one of the more complete two-way players in this draft, spending four years at Oregon. Duarte, who averaged 17.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting an astonishing 53.2% from the field, fits many teams’ needs, so it is hard to predict where Duarte will fall.
Yet, it would be hard for the Lakers to overlook him if he remains on the board at No.22. Duarte’s play is reminiscent of former Oregon Duck and current Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks. He gets after it on the defensive end, which often leads to transition offensive opportunities.
Something that often goes unnoticed in his game is his underrated athleticism and the capability to score around the basket. Duarte will make an excellent NBA player and be a plug-in and play type of guy due to being significantly developed at 24 years of age.
Tre Mann – Florida
Tre Mann is what you envision when you talk about the modern-day point guard. He can shoot and score from really anywhere on the floor with unlimited range. Plus, he can see the floor at a high level. For the Lakers, Mann would add a spark off the bench for a team that lacks playmakers outside LeBron.
Mann, who averaged 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game last year for the Gators, boosted his draft stock and impressed many scouts at this year’s combine. Mann was projected to go late first round in most mocks, and now he could see himself going closer to the middle of the first round.
Miles McBride – West Virginia
The 6-foot-2 product from Cincinnati, Ohio, set the stage in his sophomore season at West Virginia under Bob Huggins. McBride was the squad leader averaging 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. He can create for others while still finding his rhythm.
McBride is a proven point guard, which gives him a real opportunity if he winds up in LA playing for the Lakers due to the inconsistency at the position. McBride could go as early as No.22 or as late as the 2nd round. He has many untapped potentials. Playing for WVU in a Huggins system that preaches defense gives him that aspect of the game that many smaller guards lack. Also, McBride is very underrated on the defensive end averaging 1.9 steals per game last year.