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 News: LeBron James Views Himself And Lonzo Ball As ‘One And The Same,’ Champions Point Guard ‘Head Of The Snake’

While LeBron James is the unquestioned leader, he’s been equally inclusive of the Los Angeles Lakers young core and veterans on the team. James is among those who have noted…

Lakers News: L.A. Picks Up Third Year Option On Julius Randle’s Contract

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the process of a youth movement…

Lakers News: L.A. Continues To Restructure Front Office

The Los Angeles Lakers made a bold move when they jettisoned Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss mid-season, replacing them with Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson….

Chandler Parsons ‘Can’t See’ LeBron Joining Lakers; Says He’ll Leave Miami

http://youtu.be/nfsSvLw54C4 With the Miami Heat on the brink of elimination in the…