The Los Angeles Lakers have fared particularly well in their late picks in the NBA Draft over recent years, and Svi Mykhailiuk appears primed to become the latest success story. Granted, Mykhailiuk faces an uphill battle the likes of Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma didn’t because of depth.
The University of Kansas product has nevertheless made quite the early impression on Lakers coaches and teammates alike. Summer League head coach Miles Simon raved about the versatility Mykhailiuk demonstrated during their time together, and he’s received similar praise since.
“I’ve been really impressed with Svi. Just from Summer League to playing open gym, I think he’s going to be the steal of the draft like Kuz was last year. I think he’s going to be a really good player,” Alex Caruso said at Lakers Media Day.
When asked which players have impressed him during practices and scrimmages, Lakers head coach Luke Walton spoke highly of the entire roster, before specifically mentioning Mykhailiuk.
“Svi has been good. Limited opportunities, but the opportunities he’s had, he’s looked good,” Walton said.
On the third day of practices in training camp, Mykhailiuk connected on 20 consecutive 3-pointers during a shooting drill with Simon. He wasn’t quite as efficient Thursday, but nonetheless flashed plenty of marksmanship.
“I mean, he’s great. He doesn’t say anything and he works his butt off,” LeBron James said as Mykhailiuk continued with post-practice shooting. “He comes in, puts in his work. He’s one of the first ones on the court; obviously, because he has to be. He’s a rookie. He’s one of the last ones to leave the floor; obviously, because he has to be. He’s a rookie.
“But he can shoot the peel off the ball, man. It’s going to be good for our ballclub, no matter if it’s to start the season or whenever. If he ever gets his number called, when he gets his number called, he’ll be ready. He loves to play the game.”
And though Brandon Ingram is primarily expected to benefit from James’ leadership and presence, he opined that Mykhailiuk could be someone who rubs off on him as well. “He can shoot the damn basketball really good,” Ingram marveled.