With the draft just two days away, SB Nation conducted its annual site-wide mock draft in which each site selects a player for their respective team.
Considering the rarity with which the Lakers have a first round pick and certainly one this high, it’s not common for them to take part in this. However, as of now, the Lakers still have their No. 17 pick, and we made a selection in the draft.
There were no trades allowed in this draft, and I wasn’t about to negotiate one either. With that in mind, here’s a look at how things played out and who we took.
Pick No. 17 - Kris Murray, Iowa, Wing
With how the draft played out, there were a number of names linked to the Laker that were available. Ultimately, this is going to be a position where the Lakers have the flexibility and luxury to take whoever the best player available on their draft board is.
For me, Kris Murray should be pretty high on that list. The Iowa wing is older, relatively speaking, but mirrors his older brother Keegan in playstyle in many ways. He’s a wing capable of knocking down 3-pointers and providing spacing and size from the get-go with the Lakers.
He’s not just a 3-point shooter as he showed some ability to attack the rim and finish, something that could be valuable against poor closeouts. He hasn’t had quite as much time to showcase his skillset at Iowa as Keegan did, which is one of the main knocks on him.
There are some more questions about his defense than his offense. He has size and is a smart player which allows him to be serviceable at the least. He was listed at 6’7.75” at the combine without shoes and had a wingspan just shy of 7’.
Something the Lakers lacked in the Western Conference Finals against the Nuggets was size. And not just size in the sense of needing a center, but positional size. Too often, Austin Reaves was left trying to box out Michael Porter Jr. under the rim and losing that battle.
Adding players like Murray helps with that problem. A team can never have too many 3-and-D wings, and Murray would be just that. He has shooting and size and those are two great attributes for role players around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.