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Lakers to start 2018 NBA Draft prep by working out six players, including Louisville forward Deng Adel

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It appears that the Lakers are getting underway with their preparations for the 2018 NBA Draft, with a workout featuring Louisville forward Deng Adel and Wisconsin big man Ethan Happ.

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NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Florida State vs Louisville Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in years, the Los Angeles Lakers won’t be picking in the lottery and working out the biggest names in the NBA Draft.

Instead, the Lakers will currently be picking 25th (due to their trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and 47th (via the Denver Nuggets).

Picking in those ranges means that Los Angeles won’t be working out the sorts of household names fans have grown accustomed to over the past several seasons, but given the front office’s success at finding diamonds in the rough during the last couple of drafts, that doesn’t mean these players aren’t worth paying attention to.

According Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet, the Lakers’ attempts to find their next overlooked prospect begin Thursday, as the team will host Louisville forward Deng Adel and five other players in their first predraft workout:

Adel, Barefield, Dalton, Soter, and Mahmoud are not ranked in Jonathan Givony of ESPN’s top-100 draft prospect rankings, but Wisconsin forward/center Ethan Happ (No. 95) is. Happ was the reported to be working out for the Lakers Thursday earlier this week.

Neither of these players or any of the other four unnamed ones are likely to be a tremendous difference maker in the Lakers’ future, but that’s also kind of the point.

The Lakers have had a bunch of success over the last several season by targeting precisely the types of players no one was all that high on. And while Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Josh Hart and the other unheralded players the Lakers have found to outperform their draft stock were ranked higher than this by predraft evaluators, there is still no downside to the Lakers doing their due dilligence here and seeing what types of players are available to them in the draft, or to sign as undrafted free agents.

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