The past few years have witnessed a renewed focus among Lakers fans summer league, if only because it was the first opportunity to view the prized prospects the parent team lost dozens of games for the season prior. This focus, however, has also to a certain extent been inclusive of the remainder of the squad, almost always a motley collection of undrafted free agents and veteran players from the D-League and overseas hoping to catch the eye of a front office somewhere. Although this process invariably ends up merely exposing the reasons for which these players are marginal, once in a while, a diamond in the rough emerges that could make hay for the parent team.
This is not to say that the subsequent name will necessarily meet that standard, but he certainly has a fair opportunity to do so. From Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy:
Zach Auguste will play for the Los Angeles Lakers' summer league team, per sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 25, 2016
Auguste is a four-year player at Notre Dame who caught the eye of NBA decision-makers his junior season when he broke out with a 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game campaign. A highly athletic and mobile yet undersized big for the five, Auguste was an elite finisher around the rim his junior season, but didn't manage to capitalize on that his senior season. However, Auguste did manage to significantly improve his rebounding, posting a rock solid 21.2 TRB%, an even better mark than some of the rebounding maestros LA had lined up as options at #32 such as Chinanu Onuaku. Still, he failed to show that he has any range on the floor and his defensive play, although aided by his excellent mobility, has been uneven across his college career.
Insofar as Auguste's fit on both the summer league and parent squads go, he's a fantastic fit if the team is going to play as uptempo as they claim they will. Auguste is perhaps even more mobile and a better finisher than Tarik Black, and will serve as an excellent target for the likes of D'Angelo Russell in the pick-and-roll. In addition, although Auguste doesn't have the defensive instincts or length to yet take advantage of this, he is sufficiently mobile to switch onto smalls in the pick-and-roll and isn't a guy who will be run off the floor should opposing teams go small. This alleviates Auguste's issue of being a guy with power forward size and a center's game, but the best case result for Auguste is likely being a very useful energy big.
In other news, Auguste was also not very nice to his summer league teammate Brandon Ingram when Notre Dame met Duke in the tournament:
Auguste also had 19 points & 22 rebounds against Duke in ACC Tourney Quarterfinals, including this block on Ingram pic.twitter.com/wy56moLZe0— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) June 25, 2016
Altogether, Auguste is a pretty solid pickup insofar as undrafted free agents go (76th best prospect on Draft Express' board, 83rd for CBS Sports, and 90th on ESPN's), and he possesses a skill set that could allow him to make hay on the next level should things go right for him in Vegas.
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