The Los Angeles Lakers may not have had a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they still came away with an intriguing group of rookies.
One name to look out for is Cole Swider, the undrafted sharpshooter out of Syracuse. Swider looked like a legitimate sniper during Summer League, and his outside shooting could lead him to early playing time on the parent team.
Swider has already gotten acclimated to the Hollywood lifestyle after starting a podcast with his college teammate, and on the most recent episode of “The Cole Swider Show with Paddy Casey,” Swider recounted the first time he met LeBron James:
“The first time I met him was at Summer League and shoutout Nick G and Cole, like it’s unreal because me and him would watch LeBron videos…It’s just unbelievable just cause being a LeBron fan then being picked up by the same team.
“But the first time I met him was actually at Summer League. He came to our first game of Summer League and then stayed in Vegas for a couple of days and worked out. So I kind of placed my bags near him a little bit and then he came over and dapped me up. He was like, ‘What up, Cole?’ And when he said, ‘What’s up, Cole?’ I was like, ‘Wow, this is unreal, he addressed me by my first name.’ It makes sense why he would, but for me, it was just unbelievable. Just meeting him was great and then just seeing him work every single day has been unbelievable. Him, AD, Russ, they all have like this business-like approach. They do they same thing every single day, they come in, they get their work in, they leave, and then they probably do other workouts. They probably have 70 other things with their kids, with their wives, with other engagements they have to go. That money is well-earned for sure.”
Being James’ teammate originally came as a shock, but Swider is trying to keep his confidence high around him and the other stars on the roster:
“I wouldn’t say starstruck. I would say for me it’s more like, ‘Hey, you worked your whole life for this. Be yourself.’ If you’re not yourself, then they’re gonna see that. They’re gonna smell through the BS. The first day I walked in there, I told LeBron and AD, ‘I’m gonna give you guys space. I’m gonna give you guys space on the court, you guys can do what you can do.’ I think just going in there with a confidence, going in there with a mindset just saying I’m not supposed to be here so I’m gonna just go in there and just prove everyone wrong. That’s what I tried to do at Summer League and that’s what I’m gonna try to do moving forward.”
For Swider, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play along a living legend like James and it should be fun to see if the two ever share the floor together this season.
Lakers in talks with Jazz about Bojan Bogdanovic
While Swider can certainly shoot, the Lakers will likely prefer to lean on veterans. As far as trade targets go, Los Angeles reportedly remains engaged on a deal with the Utah Jazz for Bojan Bogdanovic.
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