On the eve of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers are the team making the most noise. After trading their 2019 second-round pick (via Chicago) for the No. 39 pick in this year’s draft, news started to pour out that the team has been hosting secret workouts with players including Troy Brown Jr. of Oregon and Allonzo Trier of Arizona, who worked out for the Lakers in early May.
The Lakers also reportedly requested a second workout with IMG Academy prospect Anfernee Simons, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, but it’s unclear if the two sides were able to set anything up. The Lakers have previously been reported to be “interested” in Simons.
Trier’s second workout took place earlier this week, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, and the 22-year-old wing reportedly shot better in his second workout than he did in his first workout. And if there’s one thing Trier showed he can do in his three years at Arizona, it’s shoot.
In his junior season with the Wildcats, Trier averaged 18.1 points on a collegiate career-high 50 percent shooting from the field, including 38 percent from behind the arc on 5.6 three-point attempts per game. He also contributed 3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
Trier is currently projected to go undrafted, but if he impressed the Lakers’ scouting department enough in his second workout, the 6-foot-5 wing could be a candidate for the No. 47 pick.
Also rumored to have worked out for the Lakers for the first time was Troy Brown Jr, who in all likelihood will be taken in the top 20 in Thursday’s draft, if not the lottery.
Lakers meet and greet before the draft.— Las Vegas Prospects (@LVProspects) June 20, 2018
Pictured here is the best big PG to ever play the game! And some old, buff dude in a polo shirt!
Prospects' Troy Brown Jr meets the legend, Magic Johnson ahead of tomorrow's NBA Draft 2018.
The Tradition Continues... #PROspects pic.twitter.com/YCd7k9pN4s
While Brown didn’t put up eye-popping stat lines in his lone season at the University of Oregon, his physical tools (6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan) combined with his high basketball IQ makes him one of the most intriguing prospect in the late-teens. Speaking of late-teens, Brown won’t turn 19 until the end of July, making him one of the younger players in the draft.
So why isn’t this kid projected to go in the top-10?
All signs point to Brown being a capable, multi-positional defender at the next level. Offensively, though, he’s less of a sure thing.
In 35 starts with the Ducks, Brown averaged a modest 11.3 points on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and converted only 29.1 percent of his three-point attempts. This would be less of an issue if Brown didn’t also struggle scoring efficiently from inside the paint, but he does.
However, he doesn’t have an absolute zero value offensively. Brown is an extremely skilled playmaker with a keen sense of when to make the right pass, making him a seamless fit in head coach Luke Walton’s system.
The Lakers would likely need to move up to get him and with three picks heading into draft night, they could do just that. In the unlikely event he falls in their lap at No. 25, the front office would undoubtedly be elated.
Will any of these players be on the Lakers’ opening night roster? We don’t know yet, but we’re about to find out very soon.