Who Can You Draft At #58?

Kurt —  June 25, 2008

As was said when going through the roster, it is clear that whomever the Lakers end up taking in this draft (if anyone) is going to have to fight to make the roster. They are going to have to beat out Coby Karl for that last roster spot, and we know Coby can throw it down. The winner of that tussle for the end of the bench seat likely would spend most of the season with the D-Fenders. The Lakers roster is stacked, and while maybe one more vet may be added to the rotation, any rookie that comes in will be treated as a potential project.

Which means this is a good place to take a “flier” — pick some guy that has potential but needs a lot of work. Dare I say it, a guy with huge upside and motor.

First things first, if the Lakers brass really like Karl, they may trade this pick for some minor consideration. That would not be a shock.

Or, the Lakers may try to trade up to early in the second round, as was rumored on Draft Express. The target would be George Hill, who comes out of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Needless to say, I have seen none of his games (if you have send me a note), so what follows in terms of a preview is culled from Draft Express and other places. Hill is a 6-2, 180 pound guy who is projected as a point at the NBA level. He can shoot the ball from the outside — he took 26% of his team’s shots while on the floor (so you know defenses were focused on him) and still shot 60% eFG% and 45% from three. Despite his size he was also his team’s best defensive rebounder. He turned the heads of a lot of scouts in Orlando with very solid play, and had guys talking about his basketball IQ. Also, his team ran the triangle offense in college. The knocks are that he is not a traditional point guard (not a problem in the triangle) and that he can turn the ball over some. Also, scouts were divided on his athleticism. He may be a guy who can be groomed into a backup PG in the triangle.

Hill is projected to go in the middle of the second round, so if the Lakers want him they would have to move up and get him. The question is, what are you willing to give up to move up in the second round? Not anything of consequence. So this may well not happen.

If they decide not to trade up or trade out, who might the Lakers get at 58? Predicting anything this late in the draft is very difficult, but here are a few names from people who follow this more closely that I do.

Draft Express has them taking James Mays, a power forward out of Clemson. This is a guy who may fit that project mold — he is 6’9”, 218 pound power forward with a lot of athleticism and is very active on the inside. Reports out of the Orlando pre-draft camp suggest that he is not very polished, particularly on offense, but that he works his tail off and is willing to do the dirty work inside. His numbers at Clemson show sort of the same thing — he only shot 48% this past season and had an offensive rating of 100 (points per 100 possessions) which is not impressive. But he did grab 12% of his team’s missed shots, which shows tenacity on the boards. Apparently in Orlando he tried to show a face-up, dribble penetration game that had a little promise. Bottom line, he could develop into an energy guy off the bench, but as he is already 22 years old how much better is his game going to get?

Chad Ford’s latest mock at ESPN.com has the Lakers taking Davon Jefferson out of USC. Somebody we have seen a lot of. He came around as the season went on and showed great athleticism in his 6-8, 215-pound body. He shot 58% on the year and grabbed 16% of the available defensive rebounds. His explosive leaping ability meant a lot of blocked shots. He likes to get out and run on the break. He turned the ball over a bit much, but the kid has the skills. But here is what scares me off of him — he showed up to pre-draft workouts woefully out of shape (12% body fat) and not showing a lot of fire. Here he is trying to impress people he should be paid to play and he isn’t working out? If you take a risk on someone, you do it on a guy with great work ethic and I’m not sold that is the case here (maybe there are extenuating circumstances, but they’d have to be biggies).

NBAdraft.net has the Lakers taking JR Giddens, a 6-5 two guard out of New Mexico. He was the focus of the Lobo’s offense and shot 54.7% (eFG%) and 33% from three. He is supposed to be a great leaper, a good athlete who likes to run the floor and has deep range as a shooter. But the questions here are much like Jefferson — what kind of work ethic does he have. That was questioned while he was at Kentucky, and when he transfered to New Mexico he actually was suspended by the team for the second half of the 06-07 season for “being a bad teammate.” Reports are his defense is shaky because he doesn’t really work at that end of the floor. This is another case (like Jefferson) where if he can play up to his potential he would be a second-round steal, but the question is do you want to take that risk on a guy with a questionable work ethic. Personally, I don’t, but I have not interviewed the guy to see if he has matured.

Another guy that may or may not be on the board, but is worth a look, is Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, who is 6′ 7″. 224 lbs. Those of us in Southern California have seen a lot of him in recent years and at the next level he will be a defense and hustle guy who can guard threes out on the perimeter. He can get out and run but his offensive game in a half-court set is limited (he shot 48% last year). His rebounding numbers were down a little last year but I think that had more to do with Kevin Love than anything else. Reports out of pre-draft workouts were that he showed well on the defensive end. Frankly, I don’t think you can go wrong with a guy who can defend on the wings — you can teach him to shoot threes (see Bowen, Bruce).

He may not fall that far, but if Mbah A Moute is on the board I would like to see the Lakers grab him (some mock drafts have him going higher, some have him undrafted). If not, someone like Mays would be good, or maybe a Euro we don’t know much about that could be stashed overseas for a few years (ala Sun Yue).

Whatever happens, this is a guy for down the line, not next year. But it should be fun to watch.

to Who Can You Draft At #58?

  1. Die hard UCLA fan here, but I’d take Davon over Luc at 58. In the late 2nd round, you take a shot at upside. Davon has a lot more of than Luc, who frankly can offer us nothing that we are not already getting from Trevor.


  2. whoever we pick better be able to d up. it’s not like this team needs more offense…


  3. I would prefer they get someone overseas like they did with marc gasol.

    Take the spurs model and stash him while the roster is full, and since it’s the second round, if he turns into a stud (or even a decent contributor), the lakers can pay him his true worth (think Tiago Splitter, who got picked in late first. The slot system means he will make much less here than overseas. You can avoid that with second round picks).


  4. Off topic a little bit since it doesn’t have to do with the Lakers. But what is Miami planning on doing? They really seem uninterested in Beasley and very interested in Mayo. I understand some of the hesitance about Beasley, but at the least I can see him being Amare Stoudamire-like; an all world athlete on the offensive end, and not being able to guard a door knob on the other end.


  5. 4. I think Riley is throwing out smoke signals. I can’t buy that he actually will draft Mayo at #2, I just think he’s doing that to try to scare some people and see what he can get for a trade. In the end I think he takes Beasley.


  6. Another diehard UCLA fan and would love Luc, if he lasted this long. He’s very limited and raw offensively, but, he’s tough and definitely an NBA ballplayer, which is not guaranteed at the 58 slot.


  7. 5. Not any more, now 1-1. But I thought Turkey would want to be behind just to get them where they want them.


  8. I think we are getting spoiled about 2nd round draft picks. Every year since Luke (2003) we have gotten something from 2nd round draft picks we have taken – either development or by trade (see Marc Gasol). I think that speaks to the FO ability to evaluate talent.


  9. I’ve watched JR Giddens for the last few years living in New Mexico so I feel sort of qualified to comment on his potentially being drafted by the Lakers. He is a fantastic athelete, a decent shooter (got better every year), a great rebounder for his size, and looked like he really matured in his last year of college. Has he matured to where it isn’t a problem? Not so sure about that. He just finished playing for Steve Alford who he seemed to respect so he played hard for him. His previous coach was a nobody so he complained all the time. I think his attitude would be ok with all the veterans and Phil being a HOF coach. He has the athleticism to become a great defender with the proper motivation so it wouldn’t be the worst pick if the Lakers were wanting a project combo guard. I would rather see them look at a project big man, though.


  10. carter blanchard June 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I have no problem with Davon at 58. I wouldn’t expect much ever materializing, but looking at the past players that went there, it wouldn’t be wise to with anyone.

    My personal favorite in this range of the board is Sean Singletary. Sure he’s 5’10” and doesn’t fit the triangle at all, but he’s still about as fierce a player as you’ll be able to find this late. In my opinion he was the clutchest college player of the last few years this side of Acie Law IV. There’s no doubt it’s a, “eh, why not” pick.


  11. Random thought:

    I know it would be difficult to trade Vlad or Luke right now, but the way it seems like its going to play out next season, one of those guys are going to be rooted deep on the bench.
    Therefore, shouldn’t the FO be trying to trade one of these guys this summer given their exposure at the Finals? I think their “value” will drop even lower next year and it will go from extremely difficult to near impossible. Maybe packaging one of those guys with Chris Mihm’s expiring contract will work somewhere……


  12. I doubt there will be an takers for Walton or Radman given the length of their contracts. Packaging one of them with Mihm’s expiring contract simply negates the benefit of Mihm’s contract.

    Best chance of getting rid of one of those guys (I prefer to keep Luke here) is to package him with a solid player (LO, Sasha, etc.). I doubt such a move will happen so I think we’re stuck with both those guys.

    I still have hope that Luke can be a valuable part of this team. He brings so much to the table – he just needs to know how and when to use it.


  13. I looked around draft express for some international players, and there are a few. One who looks interesting is Goran Dragic, a 6-4 pg out of slovenia. Read his profile on draft express, and it sounds like a good use of a second round pick, even though he is slated to go early in the second round.

    Draft Express mentioned he played tough on the ball d, and fought through screens, and with his size, I could see him being useful in the post-fisher era.



  14. RE: Trading Vlad or Luke

    The only reasonable way to trade one of those guys is to switch their bad contract for another bad contract.

    The idea being the player we get fits our system better, where Radman or Walton fit their system better.

    Otherwise I don’t expect the Lakers being able to trade either of those contracts grmpphhh….I mean players.


  15. If Rad can’t guard people on the perimeter, why not try to teach him how to defend the post? He’s significantly bulked up since he started in Seattle, and that lineup Phil used with Rad at the 4 was sometimes effective.

    No one will really take Rad, so I believe it’s worth trying to bring him closer to the basket on D so he won’t be exposed for his lack of foot speed and quickness. Now I know people will say he’s a poor interior defender, but why not try it out since we’re stuck with him anyway?

    Is pick #58 even worth staying up late to watch anyway?

    Just for our edification (don’t know if anyone’s posted this), but here are the most recent #58 picks:

    2003: Andreas Glyniadakis
    2004: Sergei Karaulov
    2005: Uros Slokar
    2006: JR Pinnock

    Some of the more noteworthy 50s range picks:
    2003: Kyle Korver (51)
    2005: Ryan Gomes (50), Amir Johnson (56)
    2006: Leon Powe (POW, 49)

    2007: Giorgos Printezis


  16. I read that Mark Tyndale and Walter Sharpe are two other prospects scheduled to work out with the Lakers. Also, Pat Calathes and Keith Brumbaugh wanted to schedule workouts with Lakers, but I haven’t read anything confirming whether they have or have not.


  17. im hoping that the Lakers can get Joey Dorsey some how they need a tough guy like that


  18. I just wanna say how great it is, and a sign of how far the Lakers have come for me to not have a care in the world about who we draft, and to not hope some prize jewel falls to us in the mid-first round Times are nice again indeed.


  19. Gentlemen, the discussion of trades for LO, Walton or Radman are done in this thread and future threads. For those of you new here, any such discussion now will happen only when there are confirmed Laker discussions along those lines.

    Frankly, at this point all that talk is taking a whip to Mr. Ed. The subject is talked out. I am not going to let every discussion thread this summer get hijacked by this same discussion. If you must discuss it, go back to the roster discussion thread and put it there.


  20. The Pacers/Raptors trade of Jermaine O’Neal finally went through.


  21. I dont think we really need a power forward. We already have Lamaar, and either Bynum or Pau. What we need is a young and talented point guard who can step in for Derek Fisher. although Sasha had a great season, that could be all it was. A great season. He is inconsistent, and Fisher only has a few years left. Sasha can not fill in the role of starting point guard.


  22. At #58 you don’t make your pick based on position, you take the best player available. Personally, I think you do that at #1 on down, but especially late in the draft. Trying to find any player who will stick on the roster is going to be hard enough without limiting it to certain positions.


  23. 4 + 6-

    Trading the #2 pick might make sense for the Heat. Especially since they have some good pieces to deal along with the pick (Marion to start with). Wade is entering his peak right now, so if Riley thinks Beasley is going to take too long to develop, it might make sense to go after a more NBA-ready player lower in the draft and get a proven veteran in the deal. But drafting Mayo at the 2 is a terrible move. If Riley really likes Mayo THAT much he can surely get him for Beasley in a post-draft trade, along with some other pieces. I’m inclined to agree with Kurt that he’s just feeling out the market.

    For my money, Mayo is neither as good as his fans say or as overrated as his detractors claim. The thing that sets him apart from several of the other freshmen is his defense. USC asked him to be a stopper and give up some of his offense last season, and he did both things without complaint. However, I don’t think he has anywhere near as much upside as Beasley, let alone Kevin Durant (last year’s #2 pick). To come out of a crop this talented with a player who may never make an all-star team would be a serious blow to a franchise that is already on the ropes.


  24. The Heat have gaping holes at the center and point guard positions; on top of that, there is already a logjam at the forward positions even without Beasley on board. All things considered, I think their best option is to trade the #2 to the Grizzlies for the #5, Conley/Lowry, and other pieces. At #5 they can take Lopez. That way, they field a roster decent enough to not drive off Wade in 2 yrs.

    And man, are the Grizzlies are sitting pretty, or what?

    Lakers reportedly close to moving up for George Hill http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/10876212


  25. Why would the Lakers be interested in a 6’2″ point guard? If they want another perimeter guy, wouldn’t they want one with size to handle bigger guards? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    If they trade up, I’d like to see either Mbah a Moute or Joey Dorsey.


  26. I think the Lakers will probably send cash considerations to Seattle or another team if they’re really interested in trading up. Maybe they see something in the kid we don’t, and are willing to spend a bit of money to take a chance on him.


  27. My wild a** guess for Lakers draft is if he’s available,Lakers buy early Second and draft Nicolas Batum if he falls.


  28. Kurt,

    Do you know how many teams have enough cap space to sign unrestricted free agents? It is my impression that that very few teams (especially top teams) have enough to go $12 million. I’m speculating that’s why nearly all free agents with early trade options and big salaries are opting to stay (Marion, Davis, Artest, Iverson).

    Doesn’t that suggest that we will be seeing more players that will be pressured to accept dramatically reduced salary extensions, like the extended salary contracts apparently offered to Marion and Davis.

    Or will we see more trades–like the O’Neil trade?

    Or both?


  29. If I was Riley and I really didn’t love any of the top picks,why not go Jimmy Johnson on the League?
    For example,
    Blount,#2 to Memphis for #5,Miller. Then the #5,Banks to Portland for Webster,Jack,the #13 and one of the late Firsts? Perhaps Haslem for Varejao.
    End up w/Jack,Wade,Webster,Marion,one of the Lopez’s and a bench of Miller,Wright,Varejao and Mourning.


  30. carter blanchard June 25, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    For moving up, you have to imagine Portland would be a good place to start for giving up one of their 17 draft picks this year. They have two right around the spot we’d be looking for Hill, and there’s no way they’d want to be getting another player back on their already crowded roster.


  31. carter blanchard June 25, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Oops, didn’t see that Seattle has a whopping 4 second rounders and is what the linked article already suggests. That works too. The key is, from either team I feel like the pick could be had for just cash which works for me as a fan.


  32. 29. Drrayeye, I haven’t looked up the numbers specifically, but I know that 1) there are not many teams with a lot of cap space this year, everyone is trying to garner cap space for the LeBron/Wade/Bosh year; 2) this is considered a poor free agent class, so even teams with money may want to sit on it for a year. There are some free agents out there but no real game changers, #1 guys, that I can think of. I guess there are a few maybe on the trading block (if you count Barron Davis and the like).

    So I think you are right, not a lot of guys are going to get more than the MLE this year, which could be good if the Lakers decide to use that to pick up a vet.


  33. Breaking my own rule on the double post….

    For those of you wondering why move up to get Hill, re-read what I wrote in the preview. If this guy is as advertised, he is the paper-perfect backup triangle PG. He would need to improve his handle, but if he can shoot and has a high BB IQ and already has some understanding of the triangle, those are big things. After Fisher’s contract is up in two years he should step away from the game, the Lakers need to think in terms of Farmar and someone to run that role. It may be a risk, he may not be tall and long, but if he can develop into that role he is worth a second-round pick to see if it can happen.


  34. I’m kind of sad that we don’t have an earlier pick, so I hope we do complete a trade to move up. With the excess of picks by Seattle and Portland, I’d love for us to try and move up to get one of the guys that we really like. Even though the roster is pretty full, I always like competition and it’d be nice to find a diamond in the rough type of player that could make the team.

    And to add to what Kurt said about teams with cap space, I believe the only teams with any cap space at all (or significant enough to sign a higher level FA) are Philly (although the 76ers will have less space depending on what they do with Iggy) and Memphis (thank you Kwame Brown). I believe the Sonics have some cap space as well from the Zoolander trade to the Cavs, but I don’t think it’s enough to make a significant signing and they probably won’t spend the money.


  35. Count me in the Dorsey camp. I like guys from winning programs, and guys who work hard. This guy has both. How many “projects” actually pan out? Even San Antonio, with foreign scouts who know what they’re doing better than anyone in the business, find guys who can play now.

    What ever happened with last year’s second round draft pick, Sun Yue?

    Big gamble for Toronto. I don’t think they gave up much for it, so it seems worth the risk to me.

    Rumors of Baron to Detroit for Billups and Rasheed… I don’t know what to make of that. I think Detroit comes out on the short end of that stick, by far. I can’t see Joe D doing this.


  36. 36, whoever thought up that Baron to Detroit trade is putting his medical marijuana prescription to good use apparently


  37. Regarding cap space, the cap was $56MM last year. Expect it to go up to at least $58MM. The Lakers are at $75MM for the upcoming season, by the way.

    According to hoopshype, Philly has the most space, with only $35MM committed. Charlotte, Washington, Memphis, and Golden State, Chicago and Seattle are all under the $50MM, before they pay their free agents (Arenas, Jamison, Okafor, Biedrins, Ellis, Deng, Duhon, Gordon). Meaning Chicago, GS, and Washington probably are out of the picture.

    So – Charlotte, Memphis, and Seattle have cash to spend. But who wants to go to any of those teams (Marion, Joe Johnson… there are players who are happy to take the money and run to a losing team).


  38. carter blanchard June 26, 2008 at 2:02 am

    We get to watch Sun up close this summer starting (I think) for China. I’m looking forward to that among many other things about these Olympics. After that, him and George Hill get to fight for the right to back up Jordan after Fish retires.


  39. Unlike other teams that are considering the fate of half their squad, the Lakers have already come to terms with two (Ariza and Mihm), with only a slight risk of losing Sasha (with a backup potentially available). Within weeks, the Lakers could lock up their entire squad for next season (14 players), leaving one replacement slot open in case of injury.

    Everyone wants to stay.

    The entire management group of the Lakers deserves enormous credit for the current posture of the team. That posture may be deceptive, but it leads to bargaining from a position of strength. It is other teams that are most likely to initiate the trade–the Lakers only need to wait for the right situation–the player chosen is likely to be overjoyed to join the Lakers.

    If we go by Phil’s statement after game 6, the Lakers are looking for several aggressive high energy veteran players that won’t get intimidated. They might acheive that internally, but I think that they will trade for one, maybe two players.

    We may get some further hints of Laker intentions, but I wouldn’t bet on it.




  40. Warren Wee Lim June 26, 2008 at 5:27 am

    I guess talking about DRAFT rumors are allowed here. Is it a lock that Chicago drafts Rose? Coz the basketball gods know the Bulls definitely need a guy in the mold of Beasley. So this trade talk about Miami and Memphis all hinge on a 10-minute window in between what the Bulls do after Stern makes the announcement. While the pleasantries, handshakes and pictorials are being processed and Miami is “on the clock”, you can bet Riley cannot be half excited about what he’s gonna do. Those lines will be burning.

    As for the 58, my money is on stash like Sun Yue and Marc. I don’t know these prospects like you do but if we indeed draft one to keep, DeMarcus Nelson is where my favorite.

    I do have a prediction to make though… Marc Gasol will be a Laker this year.


  41. Speaking of stashed players, has anyone heard anything on Sun Yue? He played for Beijing this last year right? Does anyone here follow the Chinese league enough to give us a synopsis on how his season went?


  42. If the Lakers are really truly interested in moving up into the early second round I don’t think it’ll be a problem or cost anything beyond this year’s 2nd round pick and some coupons to sizzler…teams drop those picks faster than Shaq’s ill advised freestyles


  43. BREAKING NEWS FLASH…This just in (from the LA Times)
    quote, Mitch Kupchak-
    “We’re trying to move up to 57 or 56,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said wryly last week.

    clever guy…haha
    what can I say…it’s the dog days of summer, can’t wait til October and we’re getting back into what is going to be one of the best full seasons in YEARS!!!


  44. the other Stephen June 26, 2008 at 8:57 am

    30. stephen. bro, if the blazers did that trade, i would be extremely let down, down to the ground. it just would’t make much sense to do it.


  45. Is Jose Calderon the happiest NBA player today? I would think so.


  46. —-NEWS——
    The Toronto Raptors have agreed in principle to acquire forward Jermaine O’Neal from Indiana for point guard T.J. Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic, the 17th pick in the draft and a player to be named, The Canadian Press reported.

    While The Canadian Press reported the deal Wednesday, citing an unidentified person close to the negotiations, Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said he was in the midst of “four or five” conversations with teams involving Ford and a combination of Toronto’s No. 17 pick and/or other Raptors players.

    A deal can’t be finalized until July 1, when Ford’s base-year compensation tag comes off the books.

    O’Neal is a six-time All-Star. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 42 games last season.


  47. Off-topic: Don’t know if someone else already posted this, but this is an interesting read about “homer announcers”: http://tinyurl.com/4tg5mg

    I know some of you have expressed your annoyance with our Lakers announcers, but I think by in large they have done a great job compared to the rest of the league. I’m sure most of this objectivity-based announcing could be attributed to the late great, and still beloved Chick Hearn.


  48. new draft chat thread up, we’re ready to mock people falling down the draft board. I’m looking at you, Hibbert.


  49. I actually like Jamarcus Nelson at this slot! I think he is the most underrated player in this draft. He’s pretty much everything the Lakers need at this point in a point gaurd a big solid physical point (6’3 200+ pounds) who can defend and also hit shots. I really don’t think he got to showcase his talents at Duke which might have hurt him in the draft but i definitely think he has the ability to be a solid backup in the NBA. The Lakers could bring him up along under Jordan and Fisher until Fisher’s contract is up next year then release Fisher and try to free up some cap space for the 2010 free agent class (Lebron, Wade).


  50. Luke & Warren

    DeMarcus Nelson would have been a better pick than Joe Crawford. Better defense and can score too. He holds the record in California for most points scored in high school. Coach K, sucked the athleticism out of him though.

    He is not a PG, but a SG. He also turned the ball over quite a bit at Duke. I think he would need to improve on his ball-handling and get back to his old form, pre Coach K.

    Some team will most likely pick him up as undrafted where he will have a roster spot to dress in a suit.


  51. You guys should be elated to have stolen Joe with this pick. Crawford was a very talented player who was held down by the system Tubby Smith ran his first three seasons here. I truely think that after his foot issues cleared up this season, he really grew as a player and as a leader. Good luck trying to keep that last seat or two on the Laker bench bc Crawford will be on the roster. PS Scorer but even better defender.