Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Evaluations: Providence Guard Devin Carter
Devin Carter, Providence, Lakers, 2024 NBA Draft
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Draft is getting closer and the Los Angeles Lakers have the opportunity to potentially add an impact player who could come in and help the team.

Armed with the 17th and 55th overall selections in this year’s draft, there are a number of potential players the team could consider, especially in the first round. Should the Lakers ultimately keep that pick, one of the more intriguing prospects is Providence guard Devin Carter, son of former NBA player Anthony Carter.

The 2024 Big East Player of the Year, Carter’s numbers improved each year in college. Last season with the Friars, Carter averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.7% from 3-point range.

While measuring just over 6’2 at the NBA Draft Combine, Carter makes up for it with a nearly 6’9 wingspan and plays much stronger than his official weight on 193 pounds would suggest.

Strengths

Carter’s biggest strength likely comes on the defensive end. He takes pride on that side of the ball, always competes and his length and strength at his size gives opposing guards hell. It also allows him to not be at a complete disadvantage when switched on to larger players.

Offensively, he is a great finisher at the rim with either hand and can play through contact. He also does a lot of little things off the ball that don’t always show up in the box score. He’s an excellent cutter and slasher and is also a great screen setter which allows for some creative actions on offense.

While not an elite playmaker, he does have great vision and is a high IQ player who always seems to be in the right positions and makes correct reads and passes.

Perhaps most important is his overall toughness and mindset. The fact that he averaged nearly nine rebounds at just 6’2 shows he isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone and that is something that just can’t be taught.

Weaknesses

Most of the concerns with Carter come on the offensive side of the ball. He is not a true point guard and is not an elite ball-handler or playmaker by any stretch. While he is capable of running some offense, he can struggle when pressure is applied or a double-team comes and he doesn’t have that great handle or speed to escape.

Shooting will also be a question as his 3-point percentage jumped greatly in his final collegiate season, but he shot below 30% from deep in his first two years. Many will wonder whether last season was an aberration and his ability to consistently knock down threes will go a long way towards his success in the NBA. An awkward shooting form will only further those concerns.

Fit on the Lakers

A player like Devin Carter is someone who can fit on just about any team in the league. He is best off the ball offensively right now which is perfect for the Lakers, who have playmakers already on the roster in LeBron James and Austin Reaves. Carter’s slashing and cutting would be perfect and result in many easy looks at the rim where he thrives as a finisher.

Defensively, he is exactly what the Lakers need as the team has long struggled in containing smaller point guards. Carter would give the team a much-needed point-of-attack defender as Jarred Vanderbilt has been the team’s only real option and he is ideally more suited to guard bigger wings.

The Lakers have missed that role player who can do a little bit of everything and bring that energy and toughness to the court since Alex Caruso left. Players in this mold have always clicked well with LeBron and Davis, and Carter has drawn comparisons to Bruce Brown, whom the team is known to be interested in. While the shooting is a concern, it is hard to see Carter not figuring out a way to make an impact pretty quickly.

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