With the Los Angeles Lakers facing an early offseason, they have some extra time to get to work on the 2021 NBA Draft. The Lakers hold the 22nd overall pick for the July 29 draft, and even though they may trade that pick as part of a larger deal, there’s still a chance they could make a selection at that spot.
Over the next few weeks, the Lakers will interview a number of prospects that could be available to them at No. 22, or just prospects they’re interested in at any part of the draft. With Talen Horton-Tucker being the team’s only young player, they may be looking to add an infusion of youth to the roster.
One place they may be looking is at Gonzaga University, where perhaps the best 3-point shooter in the draft resides. Forward Corey Kispert recently listed the Lakers as one of the team’s he has already interviewed with at the NBA Draft Combine, according to Chase Hughes of NBCS Washington:
Corey Kispert of Gonzaga says he's interviewed with about a dozen teams including the Lakers, Clippers and Thunder. He did not mention the Wizards, who need a player like him and will be picking in his range.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) June 24, 2021
Kispert is projected to be a late lottery pick, so he could be well out of the Lakers’ range. However, given his skill set and the Lakers’ needs, it makes some sense to still talk to him in case he falls.
In his final two seasons at Gonzaga, Kispert shot 43.8% and 44.0%, respectively, from 3-point range. He did that while averaging 5.9 attempts per game.
He was one of the main reasons for Gonzaga’s Final Four run during the 2020-21 season as he was elite offensively while still making a positive impact on defense. And at age 22, he would be ready to impact any NBA rotation immediately, even a championship-contending team.
For the Lakers to land Kispert, they would likely need to somehow trade up into the lottery. That is probably not going to happen given their lack of assets, but anything is possible in the NBA. For that reason alone, the Lakers felt it was worth interviewing a player well out of their draft range.
Dinwiddie may want to return to L.A.
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie figures to be one of the prime free-agent candidates. Some rumors have already begun to circulate over where he may end up, with two major options appearing to be his most likely.
According to reports, Dinwiddie plans on either taking the largest contract offer he receives or he’ll return to L.A. — where he’s originally from — and join either the Lakers or L.A. Clippers via a sign-and-trade. Dinwiddie would be a perfect fit on the Lakers, even if acquiring him may be difficult.
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