Svi Mykhailiuk had a big summer that started with the Lakers at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League tournament in July, and continued with a few outstanding performances with the Ukrainian national team earlier this month. Now three days into training camp, the No. 47 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has showed no signs of slowing down.
On Wednesday, Silver Screen and Roll’s own Laker Film Room shared a video of the 21-year-old knocking down a variety of three-point shots with ease and naturally, it caught people’s attention.
The following day, Mykhailiuk had a Tiger Woods-esque crowd watching him get his shots up.
This is the crowd to watch Svi shoot uncontested jumpers pic.twitter.com/PgzxG4ykZ4— TV's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) September 27, 2018
No one has attracted this much attention making shots in an open gym since Yi Jianlian and his chair.
Due to his commitments with the Ukrainian national team this summer, Mykhailiuk didn’t get to scrimmage with his new teammates as much as he would have liked to, but fortunately it hasn’t taken long for him to get their attention.
After practice on Thursday, LeBron James praised the rookie and his ability to put the ball in the basket.
“He’s great. He doesn’t say anything and he works his butt off,” James said of Mykhailiuk. “He comes in, puts in his work. He’s one of the first ones on the court, obviously because he has to be, he’s a rookie. He’s one of the last ones to leave the floor, obviously because he has to be because he’s a rookie.
“But he can shoot the peel off the ball man, and that’s going to be very good for our ball club no matter if it’s to start the season or whatever. If he ever gets his number called, when he gets his number called, he’ll be ready because he loves to play the game.”
Lonzo Ball also called Svi “one of the best shooters on the team.”
“Svi, anywhere on the three-point line he’s going to catch and shoot, so he’s going to help us a lot,” Ball said.
The struggle for Mykhailiuk this season will be finding opportunities to prove himself. Despite the fact that he fills a need for the Lakers, he’s a little further down in the pecking order because of some of the investments the team made in free agency on the wing.
But head coach Luke Walton acknowledged that four-year senior out of Kansas has been impressive in his limited time with the team.
“He’s had limited opportunities coming in with the guys we have, but in the opportunities he’s had he’s looked good,” Walton said.
If what we’ve seen from the rookie so far is any indication of what the future holds for him, the Lakers found another diamond in the rough. It might take a little longer than he and many fans would like it to, but it looks like it’s a matter of “when,” not “if” he cracks the rotation.
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