The Los Angeles Lakers worked out a number of prospects Sunday, the most notable being one-and-done N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith, Jr. After a workout he said “went well,” Smith was simultaneously left grateful for the opportunity and wanting more.
"Man, I didn't know he was that big,” Smith said with a smile. “You see him and you're like 'this guy was a point guard, and that's pretty impressive.’"
Despite their size difference, Smith (who is listed at 6’3) said he’d love to pick Johnson’s brain should the Lakers select him with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
"I think I could learn a ton from him. He had one of the greatest minds to ever play, if not the greatest, so there's a lot that I could learn from him and I'd love to have the opportunity,” Smith said.
Smith gave a quick “no sir” when asked if he’s keeping an eye on other top prospects like Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox, but as the seventh-rated prospect in DraftExpress’ top-100, Smith would be a surprising choice if the Lakers’ selected him.
However, it sounded like he made a good impression, with Smith stating that Lakers head coach Luke Walton told his group they were “the hardest competing group out of everybody (the Lakers have) had.”
And more so than just hard work, Smith feels like there is another area he can help the Lakers.
“I checked one of the stats, and they’re in the bottom 10 in almost everything related to pick-and-roll scoring,” Smith said. “I think I can contribute with that.”
He wasn’t the only possible pick at the workout who felt he could contribute to Los Angeles’ rebuild. The Lakers also worked out Wesley Alves da Silva of Brazil, Milton Doyle of Loyola, Jeremy Hollowell of Georgia State, Tyler Lydon of Syracuse and Matt Thomas of Iowa State Sunday.
Lydon, who is right in range of the Lakers No. 28 pick as the 24th-ranked prospect on DraftExpress, feels he can improve the Lakers in an area they were deficient last season.
“Just my ability to stretch the floor and shoot it as well as I can”, Lydon told Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com., although the sophomore sniper from Syracuse who shot 39.2 percent from deep in college doesn’t want to pigeonhole himself.
“I also think I can do more. I can put the ball on the floor, make plays for other guys, find guys when they’re open, those kinds of things. At the end of the day I’m trying to come in and play my game,” Lydon said.
Here is an updating list of every player the Lakers have worked out or met with. All quotes transcribed via Lakers.com unless otherwise noted. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.