First Draft Thought

Kurt —  March 8, 2007

Since last night’s game is not worth discussing on any level, and others already are doing a great job finding the video evidence to question the Kobe suspension, I figured this was a good time to look ahead a little and see who the people who follow this stuff have the Lakers taking in the draft.

As of right now, the Lakers are picking 20th overall, which means one thing — take the best available player, regardless of position. There are no franchise guys to be found where the Lakers are picking, so you get the best guy you can.

The recently redone but always brilliant Draft Express has the Lakers taking 7-1 center Aaron Gray out of Pittsburgh. I haven’t seen him play, but Draft Express describes him as big, strong guy with soft hands — “He is a bear for opposing defenders to defend if they are trying to front or three quarter front him.” He also is a great rebounder. Downsides: He struggles even in college against guys who can face up or take him outside the block on defense.

Don’t like that? Well, has the Lakers taking the athletic shooting guard Nick Young out of USC. He is exciting to watch, can shoot (47% on threes this season) and can finish at the rim. Also, in watching him, he looks like he has the rare good mid-range game, something that would fit well in the triangle. The downside: As my Trojan fans friends will back up, he is inconsistent, not seeming focused every night. Particularly on defense. I personally have an aversion to guys who don’t bring it every game in college, some become great pros while others become way too comfortable with the NBA money and lifestyle. Young would be fun, however.

The Lakers should not draft a PG just because it’s a weakness — Smush may well be gone and Farmar will develop. I’d rather bring in a veteran with Farmar as the primary back up, developing into a starter. Another center makes some sense, Kwame is in his last year and is trade bait with the expiring deal, Bynum is clearly the man of the future but who can you get to back him up cheaply?

But at this point, you take the best player and fit him in, regardless of position. There are countless workouts and video sessions ahead as the list becomes refined, but those are two guys who may be around when the Lakers draft you may want to watch during thee NCAA Tournament. A few others: Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Dominic James (PG Marquette), Alando Tucker (SF Wisconsin).

Any other suggestions?