The Los Angeles Lakers have been no slouch when it comes to scouting talent overseas.
The team’s overseas scouting operation has found and targeted players like Marc Gasol and Ivica Zubac in the second round of the NBA Draft over the last decade, both of whom have outperformed the level of production expected from players at those spots, especially in Gasol’s case, although he was ultimately traded before suiting up for L.A.
The team will reportedly reinforce that grouping that was already a strength, however, as International Basketball Insider David Pick is reporting that the team will continue the youth movement displayed on its roster in its scouting department by hiring the youngest international scout of all time, Can Pelister:
Source: Lakers hire 19-year-old Turkish insider Can Pelister as the youngest international scout of all time.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) October 13, 2017
As basketball becomes an increasingly global game, teams like the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have been amongst those to turn their eyes overseas to deepen their potential talent pool. This ability will only grow in importance as more and more players who grew up watching basketball on the global stage come of age and become NBA or G League prospects themselves.
The Lakers reportedly hiring a 19-year-old makes sense in that context, because it’s bringing in someone who can continue to grow and stay with the organization for a longer time than an older, more experienced hire. In a way, this type of hire is almost like the front office version of finding young prospects and hoping they grow into a cheap, overperforming asset.
It remains to be seen how much of a practical difference the Turkey native could actually make for the Lakers, but the team is certainly leaving no stone unturned as it continues to try and rebuild back to its former glory.