Lakers Holding Pre-Draft Workout For UConn’s R.J. Cole & 5 Others
R.J. Cole, Lakers
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to bring in numerous prospects to get a good look at players they could potentially select if they were to acquire a pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The latest group of prospects is headlined by UConn guard R.J. Cole.

Other prospects include UCLA’s Jules Bernard, Alabama’s Jaden Shackleford, UC Riverside’s Zyon Pullin, Marquette’s Kur Kuath and Kansas’ David McCormack.

The Lakers’ scouting department has been excellent in recent history with the Lakers finding numerous contributors in both the second round as well as some undrafted players as well. A large part of that is these pre-draft workout groups which allow them to get a close look at multiple players in competitive situations.

If they really like someone, the team could choose to purchase a second-round pick and select him or they could let the draft play out and pounce on someone they feel could be a difference-maker as an undrafted free agent. This is what the team did last year with Austin Reaves, who now looks to be an important part of the Lakers’ future.

Within this group, the most well-known is Cole, who first dominated the MEAC at Howard, winning MEAC Player of the Year in 2019 before transferring to UConn and being named All-Big East First Team last year. Cole averaged 15.8 points and 4.1 assists last season and though he shot just 33.9% from three, that could be an aberration as he shot over 38% from deep in each of his previous two seasons.

Bernard, Pullin and Shackleford all have Southern California ties. Bernard stayed local at UCLA and was a solid wing who shot 35.4% from deep in his four years with the Bruins. Shackleford was All-SEC second team last year at Alabama averaging 16.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. He also shot 35.1% from three on 8.7 attempts. Pullin also made All-Big West Second Team last year and averaged 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season.

Kuath and McCormack are the bigs represented in this group. Kuath is more of a defensive-minded big who averaged 2.5 blocks in just 19 minutes per game last season at Marquette. McCormack played a big role on Kansas’ National championship team, averaging 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Lakers 2022 preseason schedule announced

If any of these players do wind up with the Lakers for training camp, they know exactly when their preseason will kick off as the Lakers’ will have six preseason games in 2022 with the first coming Oct. 3 at the Arena against the Sacramento Kings.

The preseason will also include a trip to Las Vegas for a pair of games as well as heading up to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors.

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