The Los Angeles Lakers hosted another group of 2021 NBA Draft hopefuls for a workout on Friday and this week’s group featured a few notable names, including Duke forward Matthew Hurt and NBA G League Ignite big man Isaiah Todd.
Hurt, 21, is coming off of a breakout sophomore season with the Blue Devils, in which he averaged 18.3 points per game on 55.6% shooting from the field and 44.4% shooting from 3-point range while averaging 32.7 minutes per game. His 3-point shooting is the skill that’s most likely to get him minutes as a rookie, but his overall offensive game is really impressive and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him thrive on a young team.
The reason Hurt is projected to be taken 47th overall by Jonathan Givony of ESPN (outside of his age, of course) is probably his defense. As is commonly the case for stretch big men, Hurt lacks the lateral quickness to attack closeouts and defend in space. He’s also not a rim-protector, which can partially be attributed to his physicals (6’9 with a 6’9 wingspan).
Still, with how polished Hurt is offensively, he’s worth a team’s pick, just maybe not the Lakers’ first-rounder. The same can be said about Todd, though Todd, who will turn 21 in October, is more of a project than Hurt is.
Todd, a five-star high school prospect, decommitted from Michigan last year to play for the NBA G League Ignite team. In 15 games for the Ignite team, Todd averaged 12.3 points per game on 43.7% shooting and 36.2% shooting from behind the arc.
The idealized version of Todd is an athletic two-way big man that pick-and-pop from behind the arc, but judging by what he showed in his brief time in the G League, he’s going to need some time to reach that level. That’s not uncommon for big men, but the Lakers may not be the best situation for his development. Todd is projected to go 52nd overall by ESPN.
The four other players that worked out for the Lakers on Friday — D’Mitrik Trice, Jordan Schakel, Javonte Smart and JaQuori McLaughlin — aren’t projected to be drafted, but they’re still names worth keeping an eye on for Summer League and training camp.
The 2021 NBA Draft will take place at the Barclays Center on July 29.