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2017 NBA Draft: Lakers select Thomas Bryant with No. 42 pick

The Lakers closed out their draft with a big man on board.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Thomas Bryant out of Indiana with the No. 42 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Lakers traded down from pick No. 28 with the Utah Jazz, flipping the 28th selection into two later picks.

The 6’11 big man gives the Lakers another frontcourt prospect to develop, having a mixed bag of tools that could make Bryant an interesting talent. His massive wingspan - 7’6 with a 9.’5’’ standing reach - puts him in elite NBA territory.

That, along with his total physical profile, give him significant defensive potential which the Lakers desperately need at center. Bryant doesn’t have explosive athleticism, but he uses his length and size effectively to make up for it in all facets of his game.

Bryant also shows flashes of being a stretch big man, shooting 38.3 percent from deep on 1.8 attempts per game as a sophomore. If it’s not floor spacing, he also has signs of being a great rim-running big man which should mesh well with the kind of uptempo team the Lakers envision.

The great DraftExpress’ video on Bryant is worth a look, showing the potential of a pretty good all-around big man:

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