The Los Angeles Lakers only have a 55.8 percent chance to keep their top-three protected lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. As most Lakers fans are well awared, should the pick fall outside of the top three selections, it will be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, who received it from the Phonix Suns, who originally acquired it by sign-and-trading Steve Nash to the Lakers in 2012.
Due to this complication, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said that the team is preparing for the draft as if they don't have a first round pick. Since those comments, the Lakers have put their money where their mouth is and looked to find contributors outside of the lottery, scheduling a number of pre-draft workouts for players who are on the fringes of even being selected in the second round and will more likely attempt to catch on to teams as undrafted free agents.
The Lakers will reportedly work out 7'5 center Mamadou N'Diaye at some point in the near future, and Jeff Goodman of ESPN also reports the team will bring in Indiana's Yogi Ferrell for a workout next week:
Yogi Ferrell workout sched:LAL (5-16), LAC (18), Suns (20), Utah (22), Chi (23), Atl (25), Mavs (26), Det (31), Wiz (6-2), Nets (8), NY (10)— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 9, 2016
Ferrell averaged 17.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting with 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game during his senior year at Indiana, where he shot 42% on threes in his final season in college. Josh Riddell of Draft Express describes Ferrell thusly:
Ferrell has developed into a reliable point guard as the linchpin to some of the most efficient offenses in the country, culminating in the Hoosiers scoring the third most points per play. He is an unselfish player who will run the team's offense and keep his teammates involved. His pure point rating of 3.35 has remained relatively steady from his junior season but represents a drastic increase from his first two season and rated seventh among point guards in our top 100 prospect rankings. He is very confident with the ball in his hands as a decision maker and has no fear about being aggressive to get his team a bucket....
Defensively, Ferrell is at a disadvantage from the start due to his small frame, as his opponent can easily shoot over him on the perimeter. He doesn't help himself by competing inconsistently on this end, not always moving his feet to contain dribble penetration and subsequently giving up on the play once his man is past him. He also doesn't defend well off the ball, losing his man or not rotating properly. It's hard to project him as a strong defender at the next level with his physical tools, but showing more of a commitment with energy, focus and playing within his team's concept will at least allow him to provide some value.
By being a key member of three NCAA Tournament teams, all of which got there through their offensive proficiency, Ferrell has established his ability to lead a strong offense. While he has used his time in college to improve his shot selection and passing ability, he hasn't achieved similar strides defensively. He has to play hard on both ends to overcome his lack of size and if he does, he could become a backup or third point guard that provides a steady hand at the point guard position with some scoring ability.
Draft Express has concluded that Ferrell's weaknesses outweigh his strengths by enough that they have ranked him 66th on their prospect board, meaning he is unlikely to be drafted.
With D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, and possibly Marcelo Huertas returning to Los Angeles next fall, Ferrell would seem to face long odds to find a role on the team. Still, he could be an interesting name to bring into Las Vegas as part of the Lakers' Summer League squad and see if he can outplay his draft stock.
All stats per Draft Express. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.