The Los Angeles Lakers are really starting to ramp up their workouts with prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft, and the latest group the team will bring in Tuesday will feature 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.
Simons is the biggest name here, and at No. 37 is the highest placed on Jonathan Givony of ESPN’s top-100 draft prospect list. Simons — who passed on playing in college in order to train at IMG — is a bit of a wild card in the draft process with no college statistics to speak of, and because of that, how he does in workouts like this one will largely determine how high he climbs or how far he falls in the draft.
Mykhailiuk (whose name I don’t look forward to having to spellcheck every time should the Lakers draft him) and McDowell-White are the other two prospects among this group to make Givony’s top-100, at No. 57 and 85, respectively.
Those rankings don’t mean either are guaranteed to be selected in a 60-pick draft, but they are still worth taking a look at as potential undrafted free agency targets or for either of the Lakers’ summer league teams, as are Carrington, Lee and Goloman for at the very least purely due diligence or G League purposes.
For a more detailed look at these guys’ games, I now cede the floor to Silver Screen and Roll’s own draft expert, Ben Rosales:
The close look the Lakers will be getting at Anfernee Simons, man of mystery, will be the highlight of this workout, as Simons elected to spend a post-graduation year at IMG Academy instead of going to college.
As a result, the Lakers and by extension most pro scouts haven’t gotten a lot of looks at him against high level competition and this is certainly an environment in which ESPN’s ninth ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class could make some waves.
Simons’ main intrigue is an unusually polished scoring package for an 18-year-old, as he can capably score off the dribble at all three levels and shows some nascent pick-and-roll capability. Paired with loads of athleticism (41.5’’ max vertical) and decent length for a guard (6’3.5’’ with a 6’9.5’’ wingspan), Simons could potentially be an electric scorer type, Lou Williams being a common comparison point, but there are concerns over whether he actually has enough distributing chops to man the point full time and his defensive instincts and effort are questionable (which, naturally, jives very well with the Lou comparison).
It’s hard to prognosticate on Simons since we just don’t know a whole lot about him, but his profile is valuable and the Lakers picking him would be a sign of faith in his talent.
The other prospect of note here is Svi Mykhailiuk, who has seemingly played at Kansas for an eternity but is still only 20 years old. He finally broke out somewhat in his senior year and his shooting is definitely the biggest plus he brings to the table. Respectably athletic, Svi has enough burst to attack closeouts well and his shot is certainly a sufficient threat to allow him to get downhill that way.
His bigger problem is that he’s a negative wingspan guy who will struggle a lot to check perimeter players in the NBA, but as previously mentioned, he’s not necessarily challenged athletically and there could be some upside to mine here.
In Europe, Svi was asked to be much more of a distributor, something that was unnecessary for the most part on very good Kansas teams, but that definitely will be an area that he’ll need to get dividends from in the pros. Insofar as the Lakers are concerned, Svi is a fairly distant candidate for the Denver second rounder and looks like a decent UDFA candidate.
Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for more on these workouts, and the Lakers’ workouts moving forward.
All stats per sports-reference.com. A full list of every prospect we know the Lakers have worked out is available here. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen, or support his work via Venmo here or Patreon here.