The Los Angeles Lakers announced their next group of prospects who will take part in their pre-draft workouts on Saturday. Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Drew Peterson (USC), Keon Ellis (Alabama), Tyrese Martin (UConn), Quenton Jackson (Texas A&M) and Cole Swider (Syracuse) comprise the players who will be in the Lakers’ facility.
Currently, the Lakers do not own a pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but are reportedly interested in trading into the draft, potentially acquiring a second-round pick. This wouldn’t be the first time the Lakers have done so in recent years as they did so in 2019 to take Talen Horton-Tucker as well as in 2014 to take Jordan Clarkson.
In fact, it could be argued that the Lakers have done some of their best draft work not at the top, but at the end of the first and second rounds, which is a testament to their scouting department. Ivica Zubac is another second-rounder who has turned into a starting-caliber player while Svi Mykhailiuk has also carved out a solid career so far for himself. Additionally, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Larry Nance Jr. were all picked at the tail end of the first round.
And even if players aren’t drafted, these workouts allow the Lakers to take a good look at these players and invite them to join their Summer League team and potentially join the franchise on two-way contracts or Exhibit 10 deals.
Of course, last season the team immediately brought in undrafted Austin Reaves, who would work his way to a standard NBA contract and become an important part of the Lakers’ rotation and now future going forward.
Gillespie is likely the most well-known of the group as a four-year starter at perennial power Villanova. The 6’3 point guard was more of a scorer than a playmaker with the Wildcats but averaged 15.6 points while knocking down 41.5% from 3-point range. He is also extremely accomplished, winning a National Championship in 2018 and making another Final Four appearance in 2022.
Terry Stotts interviews for Lakers’ head coach position
It remains unclear who will be running this pre-draft workout group as the Lakers still do not have a head coach in place, though the assistants remain with the franchise for the time being. The first of the interviews of the finalists recently took place as former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts spoke with the team’s brass.
Stotts is known as an excellent offensive mind and reportedly is also intrigued by the idea of coaching Russell Westbrook should he remain with the team. Not being able to get the best out of the point guard was reportedly one of the major factors that led to Frank Vogel’s dismissal.
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