Lakers Rumors: Details On Why L.A. Drafted D’Angelo Russell Over Kristaps Porzingis
Kobe Bryant Calls Kristaps Porzingis ‘brilliant Pick’ For Knicks
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


When the Los Angeles Lakers landed the second pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the team was initially linked to traditional center Jahlil Okafor. They eventually decided on point guard D’Angelo Russell and selected him, but fourth overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, looks like the next big superstar.

The Lakers were reportedly intrigued by the 7’3″ Latvian big man and they did have a private workout with Porzingis before the draft. Former Lakers coach Byron Scott even said the Lakers had a serious discussion about taking him second overall, but the team believed he would take too long to develop.

— Get 15% off everything in the Lakers Nation Store right now by using the promo code ‘Lakers’ —

The Lakers were obviously wrong about Porzingis’ NBA readiness, but according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers were worried too much about testing Porzingis’ physicality in his private workout:

“The Lakers, though, wanted to test Porzingis’ physicality, and especially his “bigness,” in that workout. They overvalued Porzingis’ need to prove he could play in the low post and wrongly equated his shaky stamina with his overall NBA readiness.”

The Lakers had assistant coach Mark Madsen guard Porzingis and the resulting workout was not what was expected from Porzingis’ agent, but the results are reportedly what led to the Lakers to lock in on Russell:

“The physicality of the Lakers’ workout was not what Porzingis’ agent, Andy Miller, had expected or approved. But the results led the Lakers to lock in on D’Angelo Russell despite how intrigued they’d been with Porzingis, one of the few quibbles anyone could have with how well they’ve scouted lately.”

Not even one-third of the way through their second season, it is still too early to decide who will be the best players in the draft class. Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns look like future superstars, but players like Russell, Devin Booker, Myles Turner, and Justise Winslow have all shown flashes as well.

The Lakers may have potentially done some things wrong in the lead-up to the draft, but judging if they made the right pick this soon is just impossible. Even if Russell never turns out to be as good as Porzingis, he could still be a very good NBA player for a long time.

Russell had shown improvement at the outset of this season before a knee injury sat him down for a couple of weeks. He is averaging 15.1 points and 4.9 assists this season.

You May Also Like

Lakers Nation Debate: Which Players Should The Team Bring Back Next Year?

Topic: With very few players under guaranteed contracts next year, we wonder…

Game Recap: Lakers Take Devastating Loss To the Clippers

On Thursday night, the Lakers played host against their Staples Center co-tenants,…

Kobe Bryant Wants Pau Gasol More Involved in Offense

Nothing is going right in Los Angeles right now for Lakers fans…

Derek Fisher States ‘There is No Rivalry’ Between Lakers, Clippers

With the buzz around town surrounding the Clippers more than the Lakers…