The Los Angeles Lakers may have the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean that they are only focusing on top-tier young players currently. While names like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and De’Aaron Fox are dominating most of the press, Los Angeles is diligently scouring the talent pool looking for diamonds in the rough. With that in mind, the club recently held a mini-camp for free agents.
These aren’t players that the team would add via the draft but rather, players that they could consider adding to their Summer League squad and/or invite to training camp. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype recently revealed the names of the players invited via Twitter:
The Los Angeles Lakers held a free agent mini-camp today. Below are some of the players who were in attendance: pic.twitter.com/cPRutfQCtx
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 24, 2017
Most of the players on the list currently play in the D-League, and while they don’t carry the name-recognition of NBA superstars, the Lakers are hoping to identify a few players that they will want to take a longer look at. This is a positive thing for a rebuilding franchise, as they want to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to transform the team back into the powerhouse that it used to be.
The NBA has a number of players who weren’t superstars right out of the gate or even high draft picks, but instead worked their way into the league by developing their skills in other leagues. Hassan Whiteside of the Miami HEAT is an excellent example, as is Jonathon Simmons, who actually paid for a tryout with the San Antonio Spurs D-League affiliate. Likewise, Lakers guard David Nwaba wasn’t even drafted into the D-League but still found a way to get noticed and eventually called up to play for the Lakers.
There are no guarantees that any of these players ever make it to the NBA, but for the Lakers, they are certainly worth taking a look at.