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2019 NBA Mock Draft: Lakers look set to bolster guard depth with Darius Garland

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With the 2019 NBA Draft just around the corner, let’s check in on who the experts are predicting the Lakers will take.

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NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In less than two weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers will be making the fourth selection in the 2019 NBA Draft. Whether or not they’ll be making the pick for themselves or another team, such as the New Orleans Pelicans, has yet to be determined, but nevertheless, the Lakers will be making a pick on draft night.

The top three picks have seemingly already been set, with Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett expected to be selected in that order, so the draft really starts with the Lakers at No. 4. However, in this year’s draft class, there is no clear-cut fourth-best prospect, so there’s no telling as to who they will take.

Fortunately, there are mock drafts to help fans get an idea of who will be considered at that No. 4 spot. Here’s what all of the experts around the league are expecting from the Lakers later this month:

MOCK DRAFT.csv

ESPN The Ringer Bleacher Report Sports Illustrated SB Nation
ESPN The Ringer Bleacher Report Sports Illustrated SB Nation
Darius Garland Darius Garland Darius Garland Jarrett Culver Jarett Culver

The name that stands out is obviously Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland. Garland left last month’s draft combine early after reportedly receiving a promise from a team selecting high in the draft, and there were rumors that the Lakers might have been that team.

Garland appeared in just five games for the Commodores last season before suffering a season-ending meniscus injury. When he was healthy, though, he showed people why ESPN had him ranked as the best point guard in his class going into his freshman season.

Throughout his young career, Garland has shown the potential to be an elite three-level scorer because of his tight handle, creativity with the ball and deep range from behind the 3-point line. He’s also shown promise as a playmaker over the last few years.

There are legitimate concerns about who he’ll guard at the next level because of his size (6’2”) and thin frame (175 lbs.), but as long as he’s knocking down 3-pointers and making plays for his teammates, he should be able to carve out minutes in Frank Vogel’s rotation fairly quickly.

Did I mention he’s a client of Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents LeBron James? That’s probably worth noting, right?

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. An updating list of every player the Lakers have worked out so far can be found here. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.