The Los Angeles Lakers announced they will hold their next pre-draft workout open to the media Monday. The players set to showcase their skills for the Lakers front office and coaching staff include Bryce Alford of UCLA, Dwayne Bacon of Florida State, Jordan Bell of Oregon, Amida Brimah of Connecticut, Kennedy Meeks of North Carolina and Derrick Walton Jr. of Michigan.
Bell is the most notable name in this group, and not just because his Twitter account inadvertantly broke the news that Lakers forward Julius Randle had worked out with Indiana Pacers wing Paul George earlier this summer. The junior forward averaged 11 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season and is the 32nd ranked prospect in the 2017 NBA Draft on DraftExpress, putting him squarely in the range of the Lakers’ 28th overall pick.
Bacon is the only other participant in this workout on DraftExpress’ top-100 prospect list. The sophomore small forward averaged 17.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 2016-17, and as the 58th best prospect on DraftExpress’ board, meaning he could potentially be a player the Lakers are looking at as an undrafted free agent or if they buy a second-round pick.
Meeks, Walton, and Brimah rank 20th, 24th, and 40th among seniors on DraftExpress, respectively. Alford, a guard whose father coached him at UCLA, is not ranked on DraftExpress after a senior season that saw him average 15.5 points and 2.6 assists per game. Those four are likely competing for a chance at the Lakers’ Las Vegas Summer League roster.
For deeper thoughts on these prospects, I asked Silver Screen and Roll’s own Ben Rosales for thoughts:
Bell is the best of this bunch, a legitimate option at #28 as a super fast and switch-y big. Although a bit undersized even for a smallball center, he has the hops and quickness to be effective in that role (indeed, his athletic testing was out of this world), but he faces a skill gap in translating all of that into actual production at the next level. Of the two big needs in the frontcourt (shooting and switch-y defense), he's a strong nod toward the latter.
The rest of these guys are varying levels of late second-rounders to undrafted flotsam, although pretty much all of them are "name" guys for college fans and wouldn't be bad additions on the SL team as depth.
Bacon is the guy who might actually get drafted, a big, powerfully built slasher with legitimate NBA athleticism but that didn't really translate into efficient production at FSU.
Although Alford, one of Ball's compatriots in the starting lineup at UCLA, can shoot from range (a stellar 43.0% on 7.5 attempts per game), he doesn't possess the athleticism to stick in the pros (read: will get annihilated on defense, can't beat anyone off the dribble, and can't finish).
Meeks was once a borderline first round prospect but his stock has tanked since then and he's a huge defensive liability at the next level while being super ground bound on offense.
Brimah is more interesting as a super long shot blocking center but he stagnated over his college career and doesn't really have much of an offensive game.
Walton will try to make the league as a more traditional backup point, albeit without any superlative characteristics (save perhaps a decent shot from range).
Here is an updating list of every player the Lakers have worked out or met with. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.