Kentucky forward Wenyen Gabriel wasn’t invited to the 2018 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago but tested well enough in other environments that he elected to move forward with the process of turning pro. Gabriel hadn’t hired an agent but announced on the May 30 deadline he was remaining eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft.
He was among six prospects the Los Angeles Lakers hosted for a pre-draft workout at UCLA Health Training Center, as the team does final preparations for selections with the 25th and 47th picks. Gabriel was joined by Brian Bowen II of South Carolina, Jacob Evans of Cincinnati, Tra Holder of Arizona State, Nick King out of Middle Tennessee, and North Carolina’s Theo Pinson.
The group is put through various drills and games of 2-on-2 and 3-on-3. The session concludes with the “Lakers Mentality Drill,” which several prospects have highlighted as being unique from other workouts and the most challenge aspect.
It’s during the latter stages of the workout that media is permitted to watch, which oftentimes means observing prospects finish with 3-point shooting before testing their stamina in the 90-second drill.
For Gabriel, who only spent two seasons at Kentucky, both parts of the workout appeared to be relatively easy. The 21-year-old tied for the highest score (28 points) in the “Lakers Mentality Drill.”
Gabriel averaged 6.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in a sophomore season for Kentucky. If he proves capable of consistently knocking down an outside shot, it will further strengthen his chances of making an impact in the NBA.
Gabriel saw noted improvement from his freshman to sophomore season, increasing his field goal percentage from 40.5 percent to 44.2, and 3-point shooting from 31.7 percent to 39.6.
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