The Los Angeles Lakers understand that the month of May is a crucial turning point for the franchise, with a complete management overhaul and optimistic outlook that hasn’t been seen in quite a few years. The NBA Draft Lottery is set for May 16, with the Lakers patiently awaiting the status of their top-three protected pick.
However, the franchise must remain diligent with their thought process and play out all scenarios, even the ones that involve them losing the pick. The Lakers started their preparation for the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft, beginning some workouts with various draft prospects.
If push comes to shove, the Lakers still own the late first-round pick of the Houston Rockets, which is quite the insurance plan and potential trade piece. The Lakers have been linked to many potential trade routes this offseason, regarding both potential first-round picks and the upcoming NBA free agency period.
It is crucial for the Lakers to begin scouting potential scenarios they could come across in the NBA Draft, compiling a profile for different prospects. According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers started their draft process with a few workouts:
Lakers have started workouts with draft prospects. Had two on Wednesday one yesterday. Of course, heavy lifting comes in next couple weeks.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 5, 2017
The preparation required for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka means examining every possible angle and not banking their offseason on scenarios that may or may not happen. It wasn’t that far back when the former front office banked their offseason on center Dwight Howard to remain with the Lakers, only to depart for the Rockets.
Los Angeles can rely on a late first-round pick should things turn sour during the NBA Draft Lottery, meaning the back end of the first round. While the Lakers have clearly set a preference amongst the top prospects in the NBA Draft, they also need to ponder some possible picks later on.
The Lakers ended up working out one player on Wednesday and two on Thursday, according to Ganguli. The opportunity to work alongside Johnson isn’t something any prospect would pass up, with UCF big man Tacko Fall being one of the three initial prospects, via his Instagram account:
The 7’6″ big man towers over the 6’9″ Johnson in the picture, something not that easy to do. During his second season with the University of Central Florida, he averaged 10.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Fall shot an impressive 71.5 percent from the field, but shoots have a lackluster 46.2 percent from the free throw line.
The Senegal product’s wingspan is reported to be over eight feet long, but at times can suffer from a lack of lateral quickness and agility on the court. After his second season, he has to prove that he can adapt to the evolving NBA, while also fitting into the Lakers grand scheme of things.