The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they will begin pre-draft workouts on Tuesday with six prospects including DeVante’ Jones (Michigan), Jeriah Horne (Tulsa), Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu (UT Arlington), Jamaree Bouyea (San Francisco), Jordan Usher (Georgia Tech), Grant Golden (Richmond).
As things currently stand, the Lakers do not have any draft picks in 2022, although that can change with trades. The Lakers have traded future second-round picks to jump into the second round in the past, with Talen Horton-Tucker being the most recent example of that in 2019.
Additionally, the Lakers are always looking for undrafted free agents to join their Summer League roster as well as potentially be added on two-way contracts or Exhibit 10s, so getting a look at as many prospects as possible leading up to the draft is extremely beneficial.
The Lakers also did not have any draft picks in 2021 after trading their first-rounder in the Russell Westbrook deal. They still struck gold with their undrafted free agent class though, signing Austin Reaves, who went on to be a productive NBA player for them, Mac McClung, who was the G League Rookie of the Year and Chaundee Brown, who had a couple of different NBA stints with the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks.
Who will be leading these pre-draft workouts remains to be seen after the Lakers let go of head coach Frank Vogel and have yet to sign a replacement. The assistant coaches are still with the organization though, so perhaps Miles Simon, who has done so in the past, will lead these workouts leading up to the draft.
Jones is the most notable prospect of this first bunch as the 6’1″ guard played three years at Coastal Carolina before transferring to Michigan for his final season in 2021-22. In 33 games for the Wolverines (33 starts), Jones averaged 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from 3-point range.
Lakers hoping to have coach in place by draft
As far as the Lakers’ coaching search goes, there are currently in the thick of things, interviewing a number of different candidates before landing on a few finalists.
The Lakers seem to be taking their time though as Rob Pelinka said that the goal is to have a new coach in place by the draft, which is on June 23.
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