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2018 NBA Mock Draft: Lakers gamble on high school prospect in post-lottery mock drafts

The Lakers take a risk on Mitchell Robinson in this month’s mock draft roundup.

2017 McDonald's All American Game Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

We’re less than six weeks away from the 2018 NBA draft, and following the draft lottery on Tuesday, the order for the draft has officially been set.

After five long years, the Lakers finally paid for the 2012 Steve Nash sign-and-trade, conveying the No. 10 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. But just because the Lakers don’t have their own first or second round picks doesn’t mean they won’t be making a selection on June 21.

The Lakers will have the No. 25 pick, acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline in February, and the No. 47 pick, acquired from the New York Knicks (via Denver) in the Jose Calderon trade in the summer of 2016.

While no one knows exactly who the Lakers will be picking, we’re going to take a look at what the experts are saying in this month’s NBA mock draft roundup.

SB Nation: Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette HS

Sports Illustrated: Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette HS

The Ringer: Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette HS

ESPN: Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette HS

Bleacher Report: Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova

The consensus pick in this week’s round of mock drafts seems to be Mitchell Robinson, a five-star recruit out of high school that skipped college altogether to prepare for this year’s NBA draft.

The 20-year-old big man has all the physical tools to be an elite defensive center at the next level, standing at 7-feet with a 7-foot-4 wingspan and a 9-foot-3 standing reach. He’s also a freakish athlete for the center position, something the Lakers haven’t had since [REDACTED] in 2012.

However, coming out of high school there were a few serious issues with his game that still haven’t been addressed, seeing as he hasn’t played a meaningful game of five-on-five basketball since the McDonald’s All-American game in March of last year, if you count that as a meaningful basketball game. Most scouts don’t.

Robinson has some serious ground to cover in the pre-draft workout process, but if he can show NBA scouts that he’s a more polished version of the player he was in high school, he would be a value pick for the Lakers at No. 25. After all, Robinson is only a few years removed from dropping 20-point double-doubles against DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley, who are consensus top-five picks in most mock drafts, at the AAU level.

If he doesn’t live up to the hype he had coming out of high school, the Lakers are still expected to have a number of options at the center position when they’re on the clock like Jontay Porter out of the University of Missouri, who checks multiple boxes for Los Angeles.

Whether the Lakers choose to gamble or play it safe, the scouting department have built enough credibility over the years for fans now to immediately freak out once the pick has been made.

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