The Los Angeles Lakers are set to host six more 2018 NBA Draft hopefuls on Monday. Along with the previously reported Jordan Barnett and Shamorie Ponds, the Lakers have also invited Jordan Caroline, Drew Eubanks, Jock Landale and Daryl Macon to their practice facility in El Segundo.
Of the six players Los Angeles will work out on Monday, only Ponds has generated much buzz ahead of next month’s draft. Ranked No. 61 in ESPN’s top 100 prospects for 2018, Ponds likely won’t be an option with the Lakers’ first-round pick, but he would be an interesting choice for their second-round pick, slotted at No. 47.
Here’s what our own Ben Rosales had to say about the 20-year-old point guard earlier this week:
Ponds was an electric three-level scorer at the college level and capable of some impressive scoring outputs for a fairly mediocre St. John’s team.
That scoring is what Ponds will have to hang his hat on at the next level, as while he’s a decent distributor, his main value is going to come in applying pressure to opposing defenses with his shot. And there’s some reason for concern, as Ponds’ three-point accuracy precipitously dipped last season (25.3%) as he took an awful lot of bad shots off the dribble (although again, the quality of his team had at least a part in that). Not a super explosive and shifty athlete, Ponds needs his shot to be effective in order to open lanes to the rim and create separation, although he has a capable floater repertoire.
On the other end, Ponds competes, is tough, and has very fast hands (career 3.4 STL%) but his relatively small frame will give him problems at the next level and render him almost certainly a mono-positional defender.
Ponds has some intrigue for the Lakers in the second round and his scoring output and ability to initiate the offense while being a scoring threat does have value even if his path toward becoming efficient on offense is slightly unclear at this point.
Ponds will hope to stick out from the crowd on Monday, and seeing as he’s the only player with a real chance at getting drafted next month, there’s a good chance he does.
For a full list of players who have already worked out for the Lakers, check here.