Anonymous NBA executives may seem to have no idea who the Los Angeles Lakers are going to select in the 2017 NBA Draft, but it hasn’t stopped them and others from taking their best guess at it.
Chad Ford of ESPN got in on the fun Tuesday morning when he released his latest mock draft, projecting the Lakers will do as most expect and select Lonzo Ball of UCLA with the No. 2 pick.
And if the second overall pick is so hard for people to guess, then we should definitely take any stabs at what the Lakers will do with the 28th overall selection with a heavy dose of salt.
However, while Ford projected the Lakers will grab Michigan forward D.J. Wilson at No. 28, he added some tangible reporting on why that might be the case in his newest mock draft (you can look at the whole thing here, but you’ll need Insider):
The Lakers are said to be high on this high-flying stretch-4.
When Wilson isn't boarding above the rim or launching 3s, there isn't a lot to his game, but those two attributes can get you into the first round.
As far as we know, Wilson has yet to work out for the Lakers, although that wouldn’t necessarily preclude the team from selecting the bouncy forward. Wilson is currently the 29th ranked prospect in DraftExpress’ top-100, so he’s right around the range the Lakers would be selecting after a junior season that saw him average 11 points and 5.3 rebounds.
As a 6’10 power forward, it’s fair to wonder whether or not there is much room in the Lakers’ rotation for Wilson behind Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr., and that’s without even getting into that Luol Deng and Brandon Ingram will likely need some time at the four as well.
That being said, at No. 28 the Lakers are best off just taking the player they feel like is the best available and worrying about everything else later. If Wilson is that guy, the scouting department should be trusted based on how much success they’ve been able to find later in the draft in recent years.
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.