The Los Angeles Lakers are in the home stretch of the pre-draft process with 2018 NBA Draft less than two weeks away. On Saturday, the Lakers will host another crop of prospects for a pre-draft workout, a group that features 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.
While there are a number of intriguing prospects working out for the Lakers on Sunday like Bowen, a former McDonalds All-American that declared for the NBA Draft despite not playing in college because of his alleged involvement in the FBI’s investigation of the NCAA, the most talented player of the group is indisputably Evans.
Standing a 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Evans made a name for himself with the Bearcats with his elite defensive instincts and ability to knock down open jumpers. In 33 games with Cincinnati, Evans made 37 percent of his 3-points attempts, a slight digression from the 41.8 percent he converted in his sophomore season, but enough to convince scouts that his shooting is legitimate.
Evans has all the making of a prototypical “3-and-D” prospect, however, he still has a few questions to answer and his subpar athleticism will be a problem. In college, his high basketball IQ and good instincts on defense made up for his slow footedness, but the NBA is filled to the brim with elite athletes. If he was a jump out of the gym athlete, there’s a good chance he would be ranked higher than No. 29 overall in Jonathan Givony of ESPN’s top 100 NBA prospects.
But because his deficiencies, Evans could very well be on the board when the Lakers pick No. 25 overall on draft night. ESPN has Evans going No. 30 overall to the Atlanta Hawks, while The Ringer has Evans going as high as No. 20 overall.
Whether or not Evans is the Lakers’ next diamond in the rough, he’s a player worth keeping an eye on as the draft draws closer.
For an updating list of the players the Lakers have worked out to date, check out our pre-draft workout tracker here.