With the offseason well underway for non-playoff teams, the Los Angeles Lakers have been hard at work preparing for the 2018 NBA Draft. They have developed a reputation for finding talent late in the draft and will hope to continue that trend this year.
Their earliest pick is 25th overall, which was obtained in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. L.A. also holds the 47th overall pick (second round). The Lakers have already welcomed three separate groups of prospects, and plenty more are on tap.
Expected to be included in that are St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds and Villanova’s Omari Spellman, among others. The Lakers have also interviewed several players at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
Another who appears to be on their radar is Temple’s Obi Enechionyia. According to Marc Narducci of Philly.com, Enechionyia is due to participate in a pre-draft workout with the Lakers:
While there could be overseas options, Enechionyia right now wants to give his immediate effort toward the NBA. “I am focused on that,” Enechionyia said during a phone interview on Saturday. “We will see what happens and I’ll work on getting on a summer league team and see what I can do.” Enechionyia will have his first pre-draft workout on Tuesday when he visits the Los Angeles Lakers.
Based on current mock drafts, it would seem that Enechionyia is unlikely to be selected at 25th, but could be an option in the second round. Or perhaps Enechionyia will be targeted for the Lakers’ Summer Leaguer roster if he goes undrafted.
The Lakers will take a look at a lot of players this summer, so while we shouldn’t assume they are hoping to land Enechionyia just yet there are some reasons why it would make sense.
General manager Rob Pelinka has openly discussed the hope to build around versatile, position-less players. As a 6’8″, 220 pounds forward who can step out and shoot the three, Enechionyia may fit that mold well.
Additionally, while some teams might consider the fact that Enechionyia spent four years at Temple as a sign that he has limited upside, the Lakers have made a killing recently by snagging older college players like Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.
Will Enechionyia be the next Lakers diamond in the rough? Only time will tell.
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