As things stand, the Los Angeles Lakers will only have one pick in the 2020 NBA Draft: The 28th pick. However, as we saw in 2014 with Jordan Clarkson and last year with Talen Horton-Tucker, this organization will buy a second-round pick if they’re high enough on a prospect.
This year, it appears the Lakers might be looking at Yoeli Childs, a four-year forward out of Brigham Young University. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, the Lakers and Clippers both recently interviewed Childs:
Lakers and Clippers interviewed second-round prospect Yoeli Childs according to a source. The 6-8 BYU power forward averaged 22.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 48.9% shooting from 3. He recorded a 38.5 vertical at the combine and was a Karl Malone power forward of the year finalist.— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) November 2, 2020
Standing at 6’8” and 225 pounds, Childs, 22, is one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft. For context, Harrison Barnes shares the same height and weight as Childs, according to NBA.com. Childs also has a few NBA-ready skills that make him an intriguing prospect.
While Childs did most of his damage from the post in four years at BYU, he developed into a capable 3-point shooter, making 35.9% of his 3-pointers in his final three seasons, including 48.9% in his senior season. He also showed he’s capable of defending on the perimeter in spurts, which is huge for a “tweener” like him.
So why is is that he’s currently projected to go undrafted? The most obvious answer to that question is his age, but that’s far from the only reason. To put it simply, Childs is unpolished on both ends of the floor. That’s most evident in his fouls committed per 36 minutes (2.9), but it’s also apparent in plays on offense where he can’t beat his defender with his strength of 3-point stroke. For a player that is 19 or 20, that might not be a huge red flag, but for a player that will be 23 in January, it is.
The “glass half full” way to look at Childs’ college resume is that he still has room to improve even at his age and he already has skills that can be built upon. Whether it’s through the draft or free agency, some team should be willing to take a flyer on him, and depending on what happens with Markieff Morris and Jared Dudley in the offseason, the Lakers could be that team.
The 2020 NBA Draft will take place on Nov. 18.