The Los Angeles Lakers continue to do their due diligence with the 2023 NBA Draft coming up and their latest workout group on Tuesday includes a number of players who spent four years or more in college. UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, Texas’ Marcus Carr, Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts, Gonzaga’s Anton Watson, Texas Tech’s Kevin Obanor and Djordjije Jovanovic of the G League’s Ontario Clippers comprise the Lakers’ latest group.
Campbell will be familiar to many in the area as he has been the starting point guard for UCLA since he stepped foot on campus four years ago. He is undersized and not a great athlete, but is an extremely high IQ player who knows how to create for himself and others and takes great care of the ball. He is a three-time All-Pac 12 First Team selection who led the conference in assists last year.
Texas’ Carr is more of a scorer than a true point guard, but he definitely knows how to get to his spots and put the ball in the bucket. He was huge for Texas during their run in the NCAA Tournament, making the All-Region team and was a First Team All-Big 12 selection last year as well. He will need to show more consistency on defense as well as work on his shot selection.
Mutts is a potential 3-and-D wing who has good size and decent athleticism for his position and has shown the ability to create, averaging over four assists per game last year. The biggest question for Mutts is his perimeter shooting as he shot just over 30% from deep for his college career and seemed hesitant at times to even take outside shots.
Watson was sort of an unsung hero of the Gonzaga frontcourt as Drew Timme and Julian Strawther took most of the headlines. But Watson is a solid rebounder and playmaker on offense while also holding his own defensively. He will need to show consistent shooting at the next level, but is a player who will do the dirty work.
Obanor is an intriguing two-way forward who has shown the ability to score both in the paint as well as from the outside, shooting 38.1% from deep for his college career. He rebounds well and gives effort on defense, though what position he will guard at the NBA level is unclear. He’s not a great rim protector, but also lacks the quickness to stick with perimeter player.
Jovanovic is a European guard from Montenegro who came over to the G-League this season to play for the Ontario Clippers. He appeared in 12 games for the Clippers, averaging 6.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 18 minutes.
All of these players are at best second-round prospects, but even if the Lakers choose not to draft them, they could be options for Summer League which would give the staff an even closer look.
Dennis Schroder believes he made things right in second stint with Lakers
One of the better stories of this season for the Lakers was the return of Dennis Schroder. After a disappointing end to his first run with the Lakers, he believes he made things right this time around.
“Like I said before I tried to make it right and I think we sure did. We had a helluva season,” Schroder said at his exit interview. “Like I mentioned yesterday, a 0.3% chance to make the playoffs. Rob made a deal, trade deadline, brought 3-4 guys in here who played great basketball, competed on the highest level and we turned a corner.
“Beat Memphis in the playoffs, Golden State, and then lose against Denver. But Denver is a pretty good team. But we gave everything we had, I gave everything I had, and I think it was a great, great season.”
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