The Los Angeles Lakers hold the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and although they have kept their options open in regards to what they might do with it, it appears they have two prospects in mind.
The Lakers have given nothing conclusive to determine what they might do with their top-four draft pick, but Darius Garland being a near-perfect offensive fit and De’Andre Hunter being an ideal defensive fit could be what’s making opposing executives think they know.
While nothing is set in stone, the ‘prevailing thought’ points to one of the two top-tier prospects, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
The prevailing thought in NBA circles is DeAndre Hunter and Darius Garland https://t.co/NuiM5ndm3r
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 25, 2019
In addition, it was made known at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine that a lottery team made a promise to Garland, and that it’s almost unanimous knowledge that it was either the Lakers or Phoenix Suns with the No. 6 pick:
“Garland, who played in only five games before a meniscus injury ended his lone college season, left the draft combine this week with an alleged draft promise from a lottery team. Multiple league executives assume it’s from the Lakers or Suns.”
Garland played just five games in college, but he proved to be a lights-out shooter from all parts of the court as well as a scrappy defender for someone of his size. If Garland’s shooting translates and he can reach his defensive potential, he has a chance to be one of the best players in this year’s draft.
Hunter, on the other hand, already seems to be on his way to being an elite NBA defender. His offense — while still developing — has shown hints of what fans have seen Brandon Ingram become during the 2018-19 NBA season. If Hunter’s three-point shooting translates to the NBA level, he could become a top-five player as well.
This report makes it seem as though the Lakers may be out on selecting Jarrett Culver and while he has shown signs of being a great NBA player, perhaps his struggles from the three-point line in his sophomore season turned some heads away in the Lakers organization.
Whatever the case may be, the Lakers have no reason to commit to anything in the weeks leading up to June 20. In the end, Los Angeles holds all the power and if it is Garland or Hunter, it would hardly be a mistake.