Lakers Pre-Draft Workouts: Stauskas, Payton, Hairston, Gordon, Smart


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The Los Angeles Lakers brought in another group of six players for pre-draft workouts on Friday. Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton each had their second workout with the Lakers. Nik Stauskas, P.J. Hairston, and Matthew Hezekiah (a last minute addition) had their first. Stauskas was originally scheduled to work out in the Lakers first group two weeks ago, but rescheduled due to a minor shoulder injury that has since been cleared up. Below are excerpts from each players session with the media.

Elfrid Payton on coming from a smaller school: “At this point, I think there’s no difference. We’re all on the same level field. No one’s in college anymore. We’re all just trying to chase our dream. It’s kind of similar. Coming from a small school, though, I probably have a little bit more chip on my shoulder than a couple of these other guys. People think that people coming from small schools can’t really play at this level, so that would be the only difference.”

Elfrid Payton on his best quality as a point guard:
“The fact that I can get into the paint and make plays for either myself or my teammates, I think that’s my biggest quality.”

Marcus Smart on if he could see himself in purple and gold: “I could see myself in it. I’m just enjoying the experience, wherever I go is wherever I go, and I’m going to be excited to go there and ecstatic about the opportunity I have.”

Marcus Smart on if there’s any concern that the Lakers are currently without a head coach: “No, not at all. I understand that the Lakers are in a rebuilding stage. Whoever they hire, best of luck to ‘em. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a great coach.”


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Nik Stauskas on whether he thinks he’s a top 10 player in the NBA draft: “I think I offer a skill set that not many people have. The ability to really shoot it and then put it on the floor and create for others offensively. Right now, I feel like there’s not many people that can do what I can do.”

Nik Stauskas on Steph Curry challenging him to a three-point contest: “He challenged me. It never ended up getting to happen because there were some NCAA restrictions behind it. I’m always up for a three-point shoot out so if he wants to make that happen, I’d be alright with that.”

Aaron Gordon on Joel Embiid’s injury potentially affecting the draft order: “I think it makes it a little bit less predictable, but other than that I have no idea.”

Aaron Gordon on one part of his game that’s NBA ready: “My motor.”

P.J. Hairston on how playing in the NBA D-League gives him an advantage: “I was three months ahead of everyone else. We’re all here now, so we’re all working on the same thing, but I feel like I got used to the ball a little bit quicker than everyone else did. Just having the experience playing in the D-League, it just kinda helped me as far as getting used to the court, the length of the three-point shot, just a couple of things that kind of helped me.”

P.J. Hairston on what he’s learned since his suspension from North Carolina: “Just surround myself with positive influences.”

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VIDEO: One On One With NBA Draft Prospect P.J. Hairston


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