The 2020 NBA Draft was a busy night for a lot of teams, although that wasn’t necessarily the case for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers only had one pick in the draft, 28th overall, but they packaged it along with Danny Green to acquire guard Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade that became official late Wednesday night.
There were talks that the Lakers may attempt to buy a pick in the second round, similar to what they did last year to select Talen Horton-Tucker. That never came to fruition though, and all 60 picks came and went without the Lakers making one for themselves.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka got busy after the draft ended, however, as the team signed Michigan guard Zavier Simpson to an undrafted free-agent contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
Simpson was a four-year player at a big program in Michigan, starting a majority of the games he played in his final three seasons. Simpson’s senior season was his best, averaging 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists while shooting 47.6% from the field, 36% from three-point range.
With training camp just around the corner, the 6-footer will not have a ton of time to show the Lakers brass what he is capable of to earn a roster spot. The most likely scenario is Simpson either signs a two-way contract or spends the 2020-21 season with the South Bay Lakers to continue to develop his game.
Something that Simpson has going for him is that Pelinka played at Michigan, so the Lakers’ general manager is likely already familiar with the 23-year-old’s game.
Lakers draft McDaniel for Thunder
Since the Lakers’ trade for Schroder wasn’t allowed to become official until after the draft, L.A. technically did make their 28th pick, taking forward Jaden McDaniels out of Washington before sending him to Oklahoma City to complete the deal.
But the Thunder then included Green and McDaniels in separate trades after the fact.
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