The Lakers held their big pre-draft workout on Wednesday, meeting with two separate groups of first-round prospects.
Attendees included: Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine, Doug McDermott, Tyler Ennis, Gary Harris, James Young, Brendan Lane, Davion Barry, Jerry Evans and Elfrid Payton. The "big" noise coming away from the first step in the Lakers' drafting process? Zach LaVine's 46-inch vertical:
As SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell notes, only one player in Draft Combine history has logged a 46-inch verticlal (D.J. Stephens, 2013). That's also higher than Andrew Wiggins' 44-inch vertical that went viral after his camp released a photo of it on Twitter:
Is there reason to put significant stock into LaVine's insane vertical? See: Who the heck is D.J. Stephens. (He's a former Memphis Tiger).
As for what the Lakers actually put these potential #FutureLakers through, ESPN's Dave McMenamin laid out the routine:
The on-court portion of the workout involved drills ranging from ball handling, post moves and off-the-dribble sequences asking for different finishes (such as a dunk, a floater, a reverse layup), according to Vonleh. Each group also played two-on-two and three-on-three before finishing the session with each player attempting 60 shots from all over the court -- midrange, 3-pointers, one-dribble pull-up, etc.
There weren't many other specifics detailed by the team or media, but Lakers.com has a ton of interview videos and transcriptions from the workouts, including a nice Q&A session with Mitch Kupchak. The Lakers' general manager gave some interesting answers regarding what impressed him the most, what they're looking for, and these juicy quotes on the possibility of drafting without a coach and the possibility of adding another pick, via Lakers.com:
Q: On the challenges heading into this Draft and trying to determine the right player with no coach in place yet:
Kupchak: It's not that much of a factor. You could argue because we only have four players on the roster, we're not really limited to looking at one position. We need to look everywhere. We'd be in a position to take the best player at almost any position. Even the position we do have covered, he's been around 18 years, so we have to look beyond that position, too. That is a good thing. Sometimes you get put in a position where you need a point guard and say: ‘Let's focus on a point guard.' And you may overlook a player who may be a (better) player down the road.
Q: On if the number of prospects the team is bringing in to work out has any correlation as to whether the club is still hoping to acquire picks in the upcoming NBA Draft:
Kupchak: No, we'd still like to add to our draft selection. Could we move this pick and get multiple picks? Maybe. Could you buy a pick? Or trade a future pick for a present pick? Yeah, that's possible. I think picks now are more valuable than they were, so I think it's not as easy as it used to be, but I think that's still a possibility.
The Lakers have cast a wide net on players that would be considered reaches at seven, so it seems like they want to be prepared to pick from the middle of the first round or even later. The team expects to hold more workouts leading up to the draft on June 26, but this is their first significant workout since the Draft Lottery.