Draft is just 4 days away! Who should the Lakers target?
With the 2023 NBA season finally concluding with the Denver Nuggets reigning supreme as the champions. All focus now shift to the upcoming NBA Free Agency and NBA Draft. The Draft scheduled on June 22, just 4 days away. The Lakers avoided allowing the New Orleans Pelicans a high draft pick in this year's draft that would have landed them Victor Wembenyama, Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller. So for now, the Lakers are set with the 17th pick and one second rounder. Assuming they keep that 17th pick (rumors swirling that they are looking to move this pick), I found 5 Prospects the Lakers should have serious considerations about.
1. Keyontae George
NBA Comparison: Eric Gordon, Dillon Brooks
Keyontae George has a ton of upside to be one the league's most underrated scorers. He certainly has the build, speed and strength to rival many of the leagues talented guards and he has a really good jumpshot. He can be an active defender in most situations. The biggest issue with George at the moment is that he is very erratic with his shot selection. No shot isn't a good shot in his eyes. The young mind could work like that sometimes. This would be a pretty good grab for the Lakers should be drop that far, perhaps developing into a 2nd string shooting guard behind Austin Reaves.
2. Kris Murray
NBA Comparison: Keegan Murray
This is honestly my favorite prospect in the Draft and I am baffled how Kris Murray, brother of Sacramento Kings rookie standout Keegan Murray, is getting overlooked by so many in this upcoming draft. Kris and Keegan are literally the same player. Same build, same skill, same upside. If watching how good Keegan Murray was for the Kings this year, this should indicate that Kris Murray may be a good player for any team that picks him up. He has the most NBA ready jumpshot in the Draft and he doesn't take any bad jumpers either. He is a stellar help side defender and can be an active rebounder against smaller lineups. This would be an absolute steal for the Lakers to have him playing behind either LeBron James or Anthony Davis.
3. Dereck Lively II
NBA Comparison: DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert
If you're looking for offense with this next pick, keep scrolling. You're not going to find it here. What you are going to find however is the best defender in the Draft. A 7'1 tall with a 7'7 wingspan, Lively is without a doubt the best rim protector and rebounder in this draft. He's not just a slow snail either, he is quick on his feet and has really good reaction timing. Pairing another athletic defensive big either with or behind Anthony Davis could be really helpful for the Lakers if Walker Kessler was any indication. Biggest flaw is obviously his offense but he could very well end up being a lob threat playing with LeBron James and D'Angelo Russell.
4. Jett Howard
NBA Comparison: Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver
The son of former NBA All-Star Juwan Howard, Jett Howard is completely different from his pops. Perhaps the best shooter in the draft, something the Lakers could definitely use off the bench. He has a very quick release and gets to his spots well. That's not also to say he's just a stand still shooter, he has a decent enough handle to create some space for himself.
5. Cason Wallace
NBA Comparison: Jrue Holiday
IF he were to drop that far, this would be a no-brainer as a Dennis Schroder replacement behind D'Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves. Cason Wallace is a solid scorer and shooter but his calling card is easily being one of the best on ball defenders in the Draft. Very Jrue Holiday-esque. But like I said, should he fall that far. He is stated to go somewhere from 11 to 16.