The 18-year-old forward is a likely draft and stash prospect for Los Angeles, considering the Lakers are looking to use their roster spots on veterans that can contribute right away in the event that they sign one or two max players, or even potentially trade for Kawhi Leonard.
Bonga has great size for either forward positions, standing at 6-foot-9 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, but weighs just 203 pounds. A few years overseas with the proper training regimen, and he could be a problem on the wing.
However, he’s still a few years out from contributing any meaningful minutes on an NBA team. Bonga has a great feel for the game, but his skill level both offensively and defensively just isn’t there yet. While it’s always possible he sticks with the team, it’s not likely.
We won’t get an answer to whether or not he can just yet, and this pick could signal that that Lakers are trying to keep from using too many picks on young players for a team looking to make a playoff push next season.
Whatever happens this summer, however, it’s likely we won’t have a verdict on this pick for quite some time.
This post will update with more information. For live pick-by-pick results from the 2018 NBA Draft, check out our an updating draft tracker here.