The Los Angeles Lakers held draft workouts for six prospects on Saturday, including USC standout Drew Peterson.
Peterson is coming off a strong junior season, averaging 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the Trojans. The 22-year-old emerged as USC’s main playmaker, showing the potential to become a solid two-way player in the NBA — especially with his impressive size for a guard at 6’9″.
However, his 2021-22 performance wasn’t free of ups and downs with the inconsistency likely factoring in his projections as a late second-round pick. Peterson remains eligible to return to USC for his final season in college and has until June 1 to make the decision.
Regardless of his future, the guard said it’s a dream come true to be able to audition in front of NBA teams and prove his value.
“Obviously I dreamed of this as a kid but the biggest thing I’m looking to prove is my size and skill at my position,” Peterson said. “Obviously the way the game is trending, it’s positionless basketball and I think I can bring a good dynamic as a 6’9″ guard being able to handle, shoot, pass, rebound, anything a team needs. So I think that’s my biggest asset looking at the next level.”
Peterson said he’s been to a number of Lakers games since he transferred from Rice to USC, whose campus lies less than two miles away from Crypto.com Arena. Having seen the franchise’s facilities, he said playing for the Lakers is “a dream for anybody.”
Peterson also said he is familiar with L.A.’s record when it comes to developing young players, bringing up the example of Alex Caruso’s rise to stardom during his time with the Purple and Gold.
“I watched all the Laker games throughout the year and I grew up in Chicago, so obviously Caruso is a well-known name to me too coming from here and developed really well and then got paid over there really well,” the guard said.
“I’m willing as one of those guys to buy into whatever situation I need to be in, looking to help in any way I can. I want to be on a winning team and I want to be able to do whatever I can to help the team win.
“So a team that has experience with developing guys like me, Austin Reaves, Caruso, stuff like that, it’s really enticing and hopefully I can put myself in a position to be able to do that and I’m gonna work my butt off to be in that position and it will pay off.”
Lakers looking to buy second-round pick
The Lakers currently don’t own a single pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. However, the fact the team has organized workouts for potential draftees suggests L.A. is planning on acquiring a draft pick, likely in the second round.
Recent reports confirmed that the Purple and Gold are hoping to buy their way into the second round, using the $4.7 million in cash they have available for trade.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!