The Los Angeles Lakers are hard at work preparing for the 2018 NBA Draft, in which they have the 25th (first round) and 47th (second round) overall selections. The team will leave no stone unturned as they hope to strike gold late in the draft once again.
The next set of prospects to workout includes Michigan power forward Moritz Wagner and Missouri State power forward Alize Johnson. Also scheduled to workout are Connecticut forward Terry Larrier, Rhode Island guard Jared Terrell, TCU guard Kenrich Williams and Western Michigan guard Thomas Wilder.
Wagner (56th) and Johnson (63rd) are both currently ranked in the top 100 draft prospects by Basketball Insiders. Wagner helped lead Michigan to the Final Four and was named to the NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team.
He led his team in scoring and rebounds, notching 14.6 points per game and 7.1 rebounds. For the Lakers, who could desperately use floor spacers, Wagner’s 39 percent 3-point shooting should be particularly attractive.
The modern NBA is all about versatility, and Johnson has just that. He earned All-MVC First Team honors in both seasons at Missouri State while leading the entire conference in rebounding at 11.6 per game.
He also scored an impressive 15 points per game while flashing the ability to both post up and step out and take his man off the dribble.
Larrier, another big who has the ability to space the floor, scored 13.9 points per game for UCONN last season. He isn’t much of a shot-blocker, but Larrier’s 38 percent from three and ability to score the basketball could get him on the Lakers’ radar.
Meanwhile, Terrell turned heads last season at Rhode Island, where he averaged 16.8 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 steals while hitting 41 percent from three. As a score-first guard, Terrell could have value for a Lakers team looking for offensive production, though he is at the older end of the draft at 23.
Wilder earned First-Team All-MAC honors as a senior at Western Michigan. He averaged 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game to go with 1.9 steals. Wilder has all-around potential but will have to prove that his 32 percent shooting from three last season was an aberration.
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