The Los Angeles Lakers are kicking their pre-draft preparations into high gear, and the team announced it will host a workout featuring 2018 NBA Draft prospects Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), Udoka Azubuike (Kansas), Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (Baylor), Caleb Martin (Nevada), Rob Gray (Houston) and Jalen Hudson (Florida) on Monday.
Bates-Diop is the highest-touted player in the bunch. The Ohio State forward averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds during his senior season, and is currently the 18th-best prospect in the draft according to the esteemed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
The Lakers — who currently are slated to select 25th (due to their trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and 47th (via the Denver Nuggets) in the draft — would have to see Bates Diop fall rather significantly in order to have a chance at selecting him with either choice, but the team is surely just doing its due diligence in the event of an opportunity to trade up or if Bates-Diop falls.
Hudson, a 6-6 junior guard who averaged 15.5 points and shot 40.4 percent from three, would seem to be the next-best potential prize among this bunch for the Lakers. Givony ranks Hudson as the No. 45 prospect in the draft, meaning he’ll likely fall right in the range around when the Lakers are picking in the second round.
Martin (the 100th-best prospect in the class, according to Givony) could be a consideration as an undrafted free agent for the Lakers’ Las Vegas or Sacramento Summer League teams, as could Gray, Lual-Acuil Jr. or Azubuike, who were all unranked on ESPN’s list.
The Lakers’ Monday workout is likely just the first in which some notable prospects will enter the building, and the team is officially ready to try and find their next draft steal.