The Los Angeles Lakers have made a habit out of finding talent late in the NBA Draft, and may have done so again when they selected Svi Mykhailiuk out of Kansas with the 47th pick this year.
The sweet-shooting swingman hit 44 percent of his threes during his senior season but set out to prove that he can do much more than just that when he stepped into the NBA world. Mykhailiuk spent his time in the Las Vegas Summer League on a mission to prove that he is far more versatile than he is given credit for.
Often pigeonholed as a shooter, Mykhailiuk’s 6’8″ frame allows him to battle on the boards, which has become something of a pre-requisite for Lakers guards.
Additionally, he has flashed defensive chops as well, sticking in front of quicker perimeter players by beating them to the spot and displaying the tenacity that is needed to be effective in a defensive scheme.
Mykhailiuk may not be a naturally gifted defender but he accepts the challenge and works to contain his man, which is half the battle on that end of the floor. Offensively, he has shown surprising skill as a playmaker.
While Mykhailiuk isn’t a passing wizard, he can make reads off the bounce and handle the ball in transition comfortably thanks in part to his time spent playing point guard growing up. It’s this kind of open-court decision making that should help him thrive on a Lakers team that hopes to run the fast break as much as possible.
Of course, while Mykhailiuk is dead set on proving his versatility, it’s his shooting that will always be the crown jewel in his repertoire. His textbook jumper can be unleashed in a variety of ways, including coming off of screens, step backs, and curls, which should prove valuable to a Lakers team that only had Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and perhaps Josh Hart capable of filling that role last season.
On a team expected to generate plenty of open looks thanks to the attention that LeBron James draws, Mykhailiuk could prove to be a deadly addition to the Lakers’ rotation and wind up as one of the steals of his draft class.
At minimum, he’s certainly done nothing but impressed his teammates and coaches.