We already knew that the Los Angeles Lakers had started working out potential players for their summer league teams or the second round, but the real question is when they will start to bring in players for the No. 4 pick they shockingly came home with from the lottery earlier this month.
We still don’t know the answer to that yet, but we have gotten the first specific name that has been reported as set to work out for the team, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando is reporting that the Lakers will bring in Darel Poirier — a 21-year old French center — on Friday:
Poirier spent this past season in the NBA G League with the Capital City Go-Go, averaging 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game. He then joined Italian club Reggio Emilia for the final month of the Serie A season but did not play.
The 6’11 center had a good showing at the NBA G League Elite Camp on May 12-13.
Poirier is eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft after withdrawing as an early entrant in 2018, but he is not ranked on ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects in this class, and thus is... unlikely... to be taken with the No. 4 overall. Although I’m not willing to rule anything out after everything we’ve heard about the team’s draft process. The Lakers do need center depth though, so there are in theory worse names to use a summer league invite flyer on then a relatively promising 21-year-old center, even if they’re unlikely to actually draft Poirier.
The bigger thing here is that workouts like this one are a chance for the team to get back in the news for basketball, and a reminder that there is still a pathway forward from all the craziness that’s been revealed over the last month or so. The Lakers still have max cap space, LeBron James, a promising young core and the No. 4 pick. Reminding people about the latter, and the type of player it can bring — names of which we should start hearing about workouts for soon, if this report leaking out is any indication — might be exactly the type of palate cleanser the doctor ordered after having so much garbage shoved down the fanbase’s throat recently.