The Los Angeles Lakers further added to their collection of picks for the 2018 NBA Draft on Wednesday by acquiring the No. 39 overall selection from the Philadelphia 76ers. That was added to their Nos. 25 and 47 draft picks.
Of course, there’s hardly a guarantee the Lakers will keep and make all three selections. There’s speculation the team may look to trade up in the Draft, and L.A. has been mentioned in Kawhi Leonard trade rumors.
Regardless of how many of the draft picks the Lakers utilize for their roster, the pre-draft workout process made clear what they valued — defense, versatility and floor spacing.
According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, the Lakers will indeed focus on shooting and versatility in the Draft, and might have their attention on Michigan product Moritz Wagner:
Lakers worked out a ton of guys who could go in the second round. They’re targeting shooting and versatility in this draft and also could look at versatile bigs like Michigan’s Mo Wagner, who can rebound and stretch the floor. https://t.co/N6Uimp7XML
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) June 21, 2018
Wagner would definitely be an intriguing pick for the Lakers, as he is a near 7-footer with a consistent jumper and solid post moves. In the modern NBA, players like Wagner are both hard to find and immensely important.
Wagner was among the prospects the Lakers invited to UCLA Health Training Center for a pre-draft workout. He joked about bonding with general manager Rob Pelinka, a fellow Wolverine alum.
The 21-year-old German native also explained the mentorship Dirk Nowitzki provides. “When I need something, I ask,” Wagner said. “Dirk is basketball over there. Everyone that starts with basketball starts with Dirk Nowitzki. He’s a symbol.”
If not Wagner, the Lakers might target Allonzo Trier, who reportedly was brought in for a second workout. Or perhaps Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith, a candidate to be selected by the Lakers if they manage to trade up in the draft.
Regardless, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have given themselves another opportunity to find a gem outside of the lottery.
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