The Los Angeles Lakers are making a run on Villanova players in the lead up to the 2018 NBA Draft, with a workout reportedly set with big man Omari Spellman, according to Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer.
Spellman, who averaged 10.9 points and eight rebounds during his one-and-only year as a Wildcat, is just the most recent player from the national champions the Lakers are set to get a look at. The team reportedly interviewed Donte DiVincenzo at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine and had a fair amount of success by drafting former Wildcat Josh Hart last season.
According to Pompey, the Lakers are far from the only team taking a closer look at Spellman:
#Nova post player Omari Spellman has already worked out for the #Celtics, #Timberwolves, #Nets and #Cavs. He has workouts scheduled with the #Clippers, #Lakers, #Spurs and #Jazz after the #NBACombine. pic.twitter.com/XtrJwzggDo— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 18, 2018
Spellman is projected to get drafted right around the time the Lakers have their second round pick (No. 47 overall) as Jonathan Givony of ESPN has him ranked as the 49th-best prospect in the current class, meaning he could easily be an option for the front office should he impress them in his workout but not jump higher than his current position.
For more on Spellman, we once again turn to Silver Screen and Roll draft guru Ben Rosales:
Spellman is a more distant candidate for either of the Lakers’ picks, although he probably deserves to be in the conversation in the second round.
Spellman’s main intrigue lies entirely with his shot, as he was a capable shooter from range in college (43.3% on nearly four attempts per game) and a solid FT% confirms that this wasn’t a fluke. He also acquitted himself well as a rim protector at the five despite being slightly undersized (mostly by compensating with a 7’2’’ wingspan), which is good considering that’s almost certainly the position he’ll have to play in the pros and defending in space isn’t something he should ideally be asked to do for extended periods.
Insofar as the Lakers are concerned, the shooting and rim protection combination that Spellman provides is rather duplicative of that of Thomas Bryant’s, and Spellman isn’t the type of best player available candidate (cough) Jontay Porter (cough) that would override those concerns.
It is unknown as of right now whether Spellman’s workout will be of the individual or group variety, although given his draft stock the latter seems more likely.
All stats per sports-reference.com. A full list of every prospect we know the Lakers have worked out is available here. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen, or support his work via Venmo here or Patreon here.