Lakers Draft Workouts: D’Moi Hodge & Matthew Mayer Headline Another Senior-Laden Group
Matthew Mayer, Lakers, 2023 NBA Draft
Illinois’ Matthew Mayer shoots the ball during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament first round match-up between Illinois and Arkansas, on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa. 0316 Illinos Arkansas 003 Arw

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to look at a number of different prospects across all ranges with the 2023 NBA Draft nearing, and their latest group workout is made up entirely of fourth and fifth-year seniors. Missouri’s D’Moi Hodge, Illinois’ Matthew Mayer, TCU’s Damion Baugh, Toledo’s JT Shumate, Rutgers’ Caleb McConnell and Logan Johnson of Saint Mary’s make up the players taking part in the Lakers’ group workout on Thursday.

Hodge is an interesting 3-and-D guard who was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Horizon League with Cleveland State in 2022 before transferring to Missouri last season. With the Tigers, he greatly improved as a shooter, leading the SEC in 3-point percentage by hitting 40% from deep while also leading the conference in steals. If he can show his shot-making last season was no fluke, he could be an ideal second-round pick as guards who can shoot and defend at a high level, which he has shown, are always coveted.

Mayer is a high-energy combo forward who possess solid all-around skills. He has shown solid playmaking for his size but is very active off the ball, while also showing himself to be a decent defender as well. His shooting has been pretty streaky throughout his career, however, and he can be undisciplined and sloppy at times on both ends of the court as well. The fifth-year senior transferred to Illinois from Baylor where he was a part of the Bears’ 2021 National Championship team.

Baugh is an athletic combo guard who is excellent at attacking the basket and creating shots for himself and others. The Second Team All-Big 12 selection ranked third in the conference in assists and sixth in steals. There are major question marks for Baugh as a shooter, however, as he shot below 30% from 3-point range in his college career and also had issues taking care of the ball averaging over three turnovers per game in two seasons at TCU.

A First Team All-MAC selection, Shumate is an absolute knockdown shooter who made 43.6% of his 3-pointers in his three seasons at Toledo. An extremely efficient scorer, Shumate also led the MAC in blocked shots in each of the last two seasons despite being only 6-foot-7. While not a great athlete, Shumate is the type of high IQ, sharpshooting forward that could potentially stick around in the league for a while.

McConnell is a menace on the defensive end of the floor, being named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. McConnell excels at getting steals and stops on the perimeter and is also a solid rebounder who has shown improved playmaking at Rutgers. Offensively, there are major question marks about his shooting, however, as he shot 39% from the field and 26.3% from 3-point range in five collegiate seasons.

Johnson is another defensive-minded guard who was named All-WCC First Team and Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in steals last season. He is a decent scorer and above-average rebounder for his size, but shooting concerns will follow him as well as he knocked down just 28.9% from 3-point range in his five-year career.

All of the players in this Lakers workout group are projected to be either late second-round picks or undrafted, but could make for good additions to the Summer League roster and possibly even an invite to training camp.

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