Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are going to have their hands full over the next several weeks as their preparation for the 2018 NBA Draft kicks into full swing.
The Lakers officially began their prep months and even years ago, with a dedicated scouting staff that’s more than aware of all the prospects available in the 2018 class and what they bring to the table.
However, this is the first chance the team will have to meet with and look at players they might be selecting up close and running through drills from their coaching staff.
Los Angeles held its first workout Thursday, May 3, meaning they have almost two months of these sessions before they will ultimately make their selections on June 21. This year, the Lakers have the 25th pick (due to their trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and 47th selection (which is the Denver Nuggets’ second-rounder).
2018 also marks the first time since 2014 that the Lakers don’t have a lottery pick, which means that the names on this list will be less prestigious than in year’s past.
However, given the front office’s success in finding above-average contributors and prospects like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Jordan Clarkson and others with later picks over the last several seasons, it’s by no means out of the question to think L.A. could find real value in what is widely considered a fairly deep draft pool of talent.
Here is a list of players the team has reportedly worked out, which will continue to update throughout the draft process:
- Keita Bates-Diop — who Jonathan Givony of ESPN has ranked as the 18th-best prospect in the draft — worked out for the Lakers along with five other prospects, and said he thinks he can help the team after the session.
- There are rumors that the Lakers promised Mitchell Robinson — ESPN’s 22nd-ranked player in the class — that they would select him in the first round. Those rumors were later shot down, but there are still whispers that the Lakers are “seriously considering” Robinson.
- The Lakers spoke with De’Anthony Melton at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. The former USC guard is the 25th-best prospect on ESPN’s rankings, and the Lakers will work him out on June 15. Joining Melton in that group workout will be Justin Tillman of VCU, Yante Maten of Georgia, Peyton Aldridge of Davidson, Kyle Washington of Cincinnati and Gabe DeVoe of Clemson. The session was also DeVoe’s second workout with the team.
- The Lakers hosted one of their most promising classes of talent on Thursday, May 31, with with Devonte’ Graham of Kansas, Landry Shamet of Wichita State, Billy Preston of Kansas, Tony Carr of Penn State, Josh Okogie of Georgia Tech and Johnathan Williams of Gonzaga coming to the practice facility. For more information on the group and their rankings in the 2018 class, click here.
- The Lakers will work out a group that includes Wenyen Gabriel of Kentucky, Theo Pinson of North Carolina, Tra Holder of Arizona State, Nick King of Middle Tennessee, Jacob Evans of Cincinnati and Brian Bowen II of South Carolina on Saturday, June 9. Evans is the 29th-ranked player in ESPN’s top-100 prospects. After the workout, Evans spoke about what he wants to show teams he can do.
- The Lakers will host Kevin Hervey of Texas-Arlington, Alize Johnson of Missouri State, Terry Larrier of Connecticut, Thomas Wilder of Western Michigan, Jared Terrell of Rhode Island and Moritz Wagner (ESPN’s 35th-ranked prospect) of Michigan on Sunday, June 3.
- The Lakers worked out LiAngelo Ball on Tuesday, May 29. He said he wasn’t worried about his father affecting his draft stock, and also went through the “Lakers Mentality” drill in front of the media.
- Joining Ball at his May 29 workout were be Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure, Thomas Welsh of UCLA, Devon Hall (ESPN’s No. 48 prospect) of Virginia, Tyus Battle (No. 32) of Syracuse and Dusan Ristic of Arizona.
- Rawle Alkins of Arizona (No. 48), Jeffrey Carroll (No. 96) of Oklahoma State, Angel Delgado of Seton Hall, Kendrick Nunn of Oakland, Kelan Martin of Butler and Brandon McCoy (No. 64) of UNLV will work out for the Lakers on Wednesday, June 12.
- Matt Mobley of St. Bonaventure, Manu Lecomte of Baylor, Abdul-Malik Abu of NC State, Marcus Lee of Cal, Trevon Bluiett of Xavier and Kameron Chatman of Detroit all worked out for the Lakers on Tuesday, June 11.
- Duke’s Grayson Allen — the 30th-best prospect in the draft, per ESPN — is set for a workout with the Lakers on Friday, May 25, where he gave fans a look at the drills the team puts prospects through and spoke about how much stronger his former teammate Brandon Ingram looks.
- Kevin Huerter of Maryland (the No. 54 prospect according to ESPN) worked out for the Lakers on May 25 with a group that also included Allerik Freeman of NC State, Arnoldas Kulboka of Capo D’Orlando, Matur Maker of Mississauga Prep and Bryant McIntosh of Northwestern.
- The Lakers also interviewed Donte DiVincenzo — ESPN’s 33rd-best draft prospect — at the combine.
- The Lakers are set to work out one of their most talented groups so far when they host Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo — the younger brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo — Duke’s Gary Trent Jr., Villanova’s Omari Spellman, West Virginia’s Jevon Carter, Brigham Young University’s Elijah Bryant and San Diego State’s Trey Kell on Wednesday, May 23.
- Shake Milton — who ESPN has ranked as the 34th-best prospect in the draft — worked out for the Lakers on May 9 and felt he could help the team no matter what position they play him at.
- Chimezie Metu also worked out for L.A. on May 9. The Trojans big man who Givony has slotted as the 38th-best prospect in the draft said it was “a dream come true” to workout for the team he grew up rooting for.
- Anfernee Simons of IMG Academy, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk of Kansas, William McDowell-White of Australia, Khadeen Carrington of Seton Hall, William Lee of UAB and Gyorgy Goloman of UCLA will all work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, June 5. Simons apparently impressed the Lakers’ brass, as did Mykhailiuk.
- The Lakers are set to work out Shamorie Ponds — ESPN’s 61st-ranked prospect in the draft — on Monday, May 21, along with Jordan Caroline, Drew Eubanks, Jock Landale and Daryl Macon.
- Allonzo Trier (Arizona), Cody Martin (Nevada), DJ Hogg (Texas A&M), Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State) all also worked out for the Lakers on May 9.
- Caleb Martin (the No. 45 prospect in the draft, per ESPN) worked out for the Lakers, who he said focused his session on defense.
- The Lakers were one of eight teams to workout out top Chinese prospect Abudushalamu Abudurexiti (more info on the little-known potential draft pick here)
- Ethan Happ (The Lakers worked out Happ the No. 95 player on ESPN’s top-100 draft prospect rankings, on May 3 along with five other players)
- Sedrick Barefield, Hayden Dalton, Marcus Foster, Deng Adel and Anas Mahmoud all worked out for the Lakers in the same group as Happ on May 3.
- Udoka Azubuike (Kansas), Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (Baylor), Rob Gray (Houston) and Jalen Hudson (Florida) all worked out for the Lakers on May 7.
- The Lakers have a workout set up with Missouri guard Jordan Barnett for Monday, May 21.
- The Lakers are set to work out Temple big man Obi Enechionyia on Tuesday, May 22, along with five other prospects.
- Duncan Robinson of Michigan is set for a Lakers draft workout on Tuesday, May 22, along with Emmett Naar of Saint Mary’s, Barry Brown Jr. of Kansas State, Fletcher Magee of Wofford, Gabe DeVoe of Clemson and Enechionyia.
- Purdue guard Dakota Mathias has reportedly worked out for the Lakers.
- USC point guard Jordan McLaughlin and Long Beach State’s Gabe Levin and Justin Bibbins (the latter of whom also spent time at Utah) appear to have worked out for the Lakers in a secret group workout, but none of them are among ESPN’s top 100 prospects and are thus unlikely to be drafted.
- The Lakers appear to have worked out appear to have worked out projected lottery pick Lonnie Walker in a secret session.
- The Lakers plan to work out Matt Farrell of Notre Dame, Zach Lofton of New Mexico State, Justin Johnson of Western Kentucky, Daxter Miles Jr. of West Virginia, Tyler Nelson of Fairfield and Marcus Derrickson of Georgetown on Monday, June 4.
- The Lakers announced they will work out Rawle Alkins of Arizona, Jeffrey Carroll of Oklahoma State, Angel Delgado of Seton Hall, Kendrick Nunn of Oakland, Kelan Martin of Butler and Brandon McCoy of UNLV on Wednesday, June 13. This will be Delgado’s second workout with the Lakers.
- The Lakers also hosted Troy Brown Jr. and Allonzo Trier (Trier's second) for secret pre-draft workouts, and requested a second workout with Anfernee Simons
- The Lakers held a private workout with Jalen Brunson in early June.