As the NBA Draft nears, the Los Angeles Lakers are doing their due diligence on all possible draft prospects. The team has holes everywhere on the roster and no position will be off-limits once the draft takes place on June 25.
One of the biggest risers in recent weeks has been Murray State point guard Cameron Payne. According to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler the Lakers were one of a number of teams to meet with Payne at the NBA Draft Combine:
Cameron Payne has met with the 76ers, Lakers, Cavaliers and Milwaukee
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 14, 2015
Payne is one of the more pure point guards in the draft, averaging 20.2 points and six assists per game as a sophomore last season. He also has great shooting range, knocking down over 37 percent from deep. After Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell some believe Payne is the next best point guard in the draft.
Though he is only 6’1, Payne makes up for his lack of size with a wingspan that was measured over 6’7 at the Draft Combine. He is also an excellent athlete, posting a 35 1/2 inch vertical as well.
This is a case of the Lakers getting a feel for every possible prospect as Payne would not be taken with in the top-5, but is also unlikely to fall to the Lakers’ second pick at 27. If Payne were to fall in the late teens to early-20s, it is possible the Lakers could package the 27th and 34th picks to move up if they wanted him.
Jordan Clarkson looks to be a big part of the Lakers’ future, but the team will not rule out any position when it comes to adding talent. Clarkson’s ability to play off-the-ball as well gives the team flexibility in considering potential draftees.[divide]
Lakers Nation Draft Podcast: 27th & 34th Picks