The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate enough to move up from No. 11 to the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
If the Lakers decide to keep the pick, there are a number of intriguing potential players who they could choose to select.
One of those players is Darius Garland, one of the bigger mysteries in the 2019 NBA Draft. His lone season ended after just five games due to a torn meniscus, but the skills that were seen during that short time showed flashes of the type of point guards that are prevalent in today’s NBA.
The workouts and interviews have already begun as the NBA Draft Combine recently took place and there are already rumors surrounding Garland. According to K.C. Johnson of Chicago Tribune there is belief Garland received a draft promise from either the Lakers or the Phoenix Suns:
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.
The Lakers taking Garland would be an interesting move to say the least and would bring about a ton of questions along with it. Chief among them would be about the future of Lonzo Ball, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
There have already been rumors about a potential Ball trade with the Bulls and the Lakers possibly deciding that Garland would be the better option could facilitate a trade to Chicago or any other team that’s interested. Of course, selecting Garland doesn’t mean the Lakers have given up on Ball either.
Garland is an excellent shooter and ball-handler but isn’t a big guard or the best athlete so there are questions about his defense. Ball has shown that he isn’t someone who needs the ball in his hands and is excellent defensively so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the two could play together.
Garland is one of many potential selections for the Lakers. He arguably has the highest ceiling of anyone outside of the top-three, but also comes with a ton of questions due to his lack of experience. But if there is one place the Lakers have earned trust, it is with their scouting department and ability to draft.
It is unknown whether the Lakers really did make a promise to Garland, but if he is the player taken by the Lakers in June, the excitement level around the organization will be extremely high.