Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis continues to shoot up draft boards, and rumors persist that he may be in play for the Lakers with the 2nd overall pick in the draft. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operation Jim Buss went to Las Vegas last Friday to scout Porzingis, and came away impressed.
According to a recent report by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, Porzingis made such an impact on Buss and Kupchak that the team scheduled a private workout with him in Los Angeles that took place Monday night.
Here is the Lakers-related excerpt from Woj's report:
Every day, front-office fascinations rise with Porzingis. Every day, he's moving himself closer into contention to become one of the top three picks in the NBA draft on June 25. Los Angeles Lakers officials conducted a workout of Porzingis on Monday night at the franchise's El Segundo, Calif., practice facility, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Suddenly, Porzingis is pursuing the Lakers' pick at No. 2, along with spectacular Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell and Duke's Jahlil Okafor. Suddenly, Porzingis is changing this NBA draft.
Whether or not the team will actually select Porzingis ahead of favorites like Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell is still up in the air, although a recent report did state that the Lakers were not blown away by either player. Porzingis would be a questionable fit for the Lakers, who have their power forward of the future already in place in Julius Randle. Still, if Buss and Kupchak are convinced that Porzingis is a future star, then fit with the Lakers current roster (Kobe included) won't be a major consideration.
Is all this Porzingis talk just smoke to throw other teams off the trail? Or will the Lakers really shock everyone and select the talented mystery man from Europe? We won't know for sure until June 25th, until then keep checking in at SS&R for the latest rumors and updates.