Looking At The Lakers & The Draft

Darius Soriano —  June 24, 2010

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We already know that John Wall will go #1 to the Wizards. But who will the Lakers take? Tonight we find out.

Before we get into the draft, the big news of the day for the Lakers has to do with Phil Jackson’s statement that he’s leaning towards retiring and not returning to coach the Lakers next season.  We’ll have more on this topic as we get closer to Phil’s self imposed deadline for a decision of next Friday, but we bring it up now because whether or not Phil returns has ripple effects on what the Lakers do tonight in the draft.  Phil runs a specific system – the Triangle offense – and nearly every player on the roster has been brought in because his skill set in some way can be adapted and incorporated into the Lakers’ schemes.  Whether it’s the slashing of Shannon Brown, the shooting of Sasha, or the shooting and subsequent spacing from the PF position of Josh Powell, the players that the Lakers look to add to the roster are guys that can play in this offense and for this coach. Now as we enter the 2010 draft, some of that is up in the air with the future of Phil and the Lakers a bit murky.

That said, the Lakers are still going to need to make some picks tonight and when they’re on the clock, they’ll need to be ready to call a name.  The Lakers have 2 second round picks this year at numbers 43 and 58 and will be looking at the best available player that also fills a need.  And despite the Lakers just winning their second straight championship, there are needs.  The Lakers have 6 potential free agents at nearly every position on their roster.  In the back court, Farmar (restricted FA), Shannon (player option), and Fisher (unrestricted FA) could all be gone next season (though it’s likely that Fisher returns).  Plus Morrison on the wing and Powell/Mbenga in the front court are also unrestricted FA’s that could all be on another roster next season.  That’s 6 players from the Lakers roster of 13 and the team will surely look to replace one or more of these guys tonight with a prospect that can potentially develop into a contributor down the line.

However, problem is with picks this late in the draft it’s unlikely that the Lakers will find that capable player.  As Mitch Kupchak stated in a conversation with Mike Trudell over at Lakers.com, the likelihood of the Lakers finding a contributor at #43 is slim.  And there’s only a sliver of hope that the player drafted at #58 will even make the team.  So while the draft is typically a place where teams look to restock its roster, the Lakers are really only looking for a player (or two) that can hopefully make the team or become a contributor in a couple of seasons.  However, that’s not to say it’s impossible.

The Lakers have had some success with second round picks and will look to find that diamond in the rough or that niche player that can fill a role.  Remember, Ronny Turiaf was taken at #37 and Von Wafer was taken at #39.  Marc Gasol was taken at #48.  So there is hope that a capable player can be found and molded into a guy that can soak up some minutes and do it on the cheap.

So, who are the players the Lakers are looking at?  As I mentioned earlier, the Lakers are likely losing role players (or at least warm bodies that could be called on in a pinch) at PG and in the front court.  So, look for the Lakers to draft a player (or two) at these positions to try and find a replacement for these potential losses.  Some of the guys that the Lakers (reportedly) brought in for workouts (note that this list may not be complete) play these positions and include recognizable names like Sherron Collins (PG, Kansas), Jon Scheyer (PG/SG, Duke), Jerome Randall (PG, Cal), Dexter Pittman (C, Texas), and Brian Zoubek (C, Duke).  All of these guys fit in one way or another, but none of them are truly wow prospects that I see as potential starters down the road or even rotation players in their first season.  However, they’re all guys that could end up playing for us down the line as they fit a need or fill a hole that is likely to be present sometime after July 1st.

Honestly though, I’m no expert on this.  The guys that are – the mockers at several sites – break down the Lakers’ selections as so:

Draft Express: #43 – Brian Zoubek (C, Duke), #58 – Dexter Pittman (C, Texas)

Chad Ford, ESPN: #43 – Willie Warren (SG, Oklahoma), #58 – Brian Zoubek (C, Duke)

NBADraft.net: #43 – Greivis Vasquez (PG, Maryland), #58 – Alexey Shved (PG/SG, Russia)

So, this is where we’re at.  Maybe the Lakers end up with Zoubek and/or Pittman (I’d be okay with either).  Or maybe one of the picks is Warren, Randall, Vasquez, Scheyer, or Collins (who all have qualities that make them draftable and potentially solid pros, but none that make them stand out).  I have no clue, but that’s what the draft is about.  It’s the intrigue of the night and the suspense of who will be the next Laker that will have me watching.  And I’m sure that you’ll be watching too.  So, who’s your pet guy?  Who would you like to see the Lakers draft?  Let me know in the comments and why you think he’d be the right pick.  If your guy ends up being the pick, we may just use your words of wisdom when we recap this entire thing.

Darius Soriano

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157 responses to Looking At The Lakers & The Draft

  1. I’m hoping that Pittman is available at #43. He would probably be an upgrade over DJ on offense, but not as good on defense. I would select him if he and Willie Warren are both still available, but make Warren my next priority if Pittman isn’t available, and then take Zoubek if he’ still there at #58.

    Can we speculate on free agents in this thread?

  2. Here’s a guy I like:

    http://www.nbadraft.net/players/mikhail-torrance

    At the end of the day, this is a crapshoot. But it’s so much fun to play armchair GM, and just the idea of injecting new blood into a lineup is always fun.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lakers sell a pick (or both) if they get serious offers. It’s been reported that bare-cupboard teams like the Knicks are willing to pay around $3 million for a 2nd-round pick. If Buss can get that for #43, it’d be cheaper to take the cash and pay Mbenga than to replace him with a 2nd-rounder.

    If we take Zoubek I might light myself on fire. Dude’s a better-rebounding but slower version of Kwame Brown.

  3. The Lakers should just take a couple foreign players who they won’t have to sign to contracts for a few years. If one of them turns out, great, we can sign them then. But otherwise, no sense in committing salary cap space to a 43 or 58.

  4. I love Wayne Chism’s game. No analysis to be had, but from what I saw of him in college he was a big game shooter and had a nose for the ball off the board.

  5. @Andy 3 – that’s exactly the point, we have to fill up roster spots on the cheap. If we don’t sign a second rounder (~500k), then we’re left with Powell or Mbenga (~1 mil) or other FA’s. Either way, these players probably won’t contribute much so the goal is to fill out the roster while saving money.

  6. Does anyone know the status of last years pick, Chinemelu Elonu, and whether he’s an option to sign. In the spanish league, he posted a 6 pts, 6 rebs, 1.5 blks line in 18 mins of play. Now that isn’t eye-popping but he could be a cheap upgrade to Mbenga with more “upside”.

  7. The foreign class is much weaker this year than it was last year, when guys like Rubio, Beaubois, Claver, Casspi, Eyenga, Llull, Jerebko, De Colo, Gladyr, and Mills were picked.

    As for DJ, I’m guessing someone will pay him more than the vet minimum. He’s a 7-0 center who hustles, blocks shots, can hit a spot-up jumper, and even make an occasional jump hook. He also still has a little bit of upside due to his lack of playing time over the years. So if he’s gone, the Lakers save money by drafting a center with one of their 2nd-round selections and paying him $450,000 instead of $1 million.

  8. @6. Elonu played in Spain’s second-tier league, although his team had enough success to move up to the ACB next season. He’s definitely worth a look during summer league, but it might be a good idea to see how he does in Spain’s top league next season before offering him a contract.

  9. Well we are pretty sure that the Lakers are going after a backup SG since Raja Bell’s name was brought up and it is a sure thing that the Lakers are going after a PG too. So here’s a list of FA guards that fit in the price range and are noteable mentions

    Roger Mason
    Eddie House
    Chris Duhon
    Luke Ridnour
    Steve Blake
    Will Bynum
    Raymond Felton
    And I guess Earl Watson (Don’t want em’)

    As for SG:
    Matt Barnes
    Kyle Korver
    The only two guys I saw mentioning in the same talent/price range of Raja.

    Not trying to speculate, just stating what’s on the market in a Laker point of view. At least I’m not changing the face of the Franchise like good old J.A Adande is speculating.

  10. 3. Draft pick # 43 has a lot of value, and I think there are some

    2002: #42 Flip Murray, #46 Matt “Flip You” Barnes.

    2003: #42 Matt Bonner, #44 Mo Williams

    2004: #43 Trevor Ariza

    2005: #40 Monta Ellis, #45 Lou Williams

    2006: #47 Paul Millsap

    2007: #48 Marc Gasol

    2008: #45 Goran Dragic

    2009: #43 Marcus Thorton, #44 Chase Budinger.

    As you can see, that range has produced some good players in the recent 8 years. Also, as evidenced by some teams paying millions for 2nd round picks, there seem to be a lot of good role players more so than “stars” in this year’s draft. I think we may pick up a rotation PG/SG combo guard. My pick is for 1st round talent that has dropped to 2nd round realization, such as a Willie Warren.

  11. Zoubek or Pittman would be great. Any of them would easily replace Mbenga – for much less money.

    This draft is weak in PG so I think this need will filled with FA.

  12. Vasquez intrigues me. I’ve seen a decent amount of him over the last couple years, and I was never really convinced. But John Hollinger has him ranked highly, and as much as some Lakers fans may hate Hollinger, I value his draft ranker highly. It turns out to be right more often than not. I’ll be following Vasquez’s career. To be honest, I see a player who (at best) will be a very similar player to JJ Reddick this year. Not awful, but not more than a replaceable role player.

  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn4HISB3vk0

    Jerome Randle please he is exactly what the Lakers need at PG. He can create off the dribble, he has a BEAUTIFUL jumper, and he would be a monster in transition. He is almost like Aaron Brooks, so by adding this guy we have the ability to guard the quicker PGs who trouble us. Plus we don’t need him for bigger guards like Deron Williams or Jason Kidd we have guys like Kobe and Ron and even Fisher who are capable in that area. He will be available at #43 and it’s actually a pretty solid pick. I watched Eric Bledsoe play all year and Jerome Randle is by far much more talented than he is and is more ready to step in and play right away.

    REALISTICALLY, the long term PG of the future problem won’t be solved this year because of the weak PG draft class and weak Free agent PGs. But with that being said Jerome Randle could come in and lead the bench and give great minutes (probably more consistent than Farmar) and still learn from Fisher.

    As for Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek, NO THANKS both guys are not athletic enough to be long term players in this league, especially Zoubek he is like a less talented Shelden Williams and look how that project turned out.

    Luke Harangody and Dexter Pittman are the best bets for bigs in the second round, but if there’s a chance Da’sean Butler goes undrafted or lasts till pick 58 the Lakers better snag him, once he is done rehabbing he is going to be a big time scorer at the SF position. Some mocks have him being drafted and some don’t so who knows where he goes but let’s pray he lasts to pick 58.

  14. I really don’t see why we would pay for a pg this year unless Phil retires. I’ve heard Blake a lot and he’s fine and dandy but until we know Phil is retiring aren’t we still going to be a triangle team first? Fisher + Sasha/Brown is satisfactory, if that’s the case.

    Front court looks fillable with the draft. I like the three names, especially Pittman — I could even be talked into a dukie.

    Count me out on Raja Bell, but I haven’t seen a lot of sg’s mentioned. I just don’t like him, really. No rational basis.

  15. saving money will help us retain phil, i feel. i think most of us can accept replacing mbenga and powell with our less-expensive 2nd rounders, but we also have to (begrudgingly) accept that selling the picks will probably put more money in the save-a-phil fund.

    so, i hope this draft will net us phil jackson’s services for another year.

    that being said, #1 on my list is jerome randle. i feel he’s going to be a bigger steal than nick van exel. he’s already a very fundamentally sound shooter with a quick release. if the lakers walk away with just him, i’m going to be elated.

    I really like harangody’s ability to stretch the floor like a 3. I think he’d pair up well with Lamar.

  16. I think Pittman would be a good pick. Zoubek, not as much. I think he lacks athleticism, although his mean-guy attitude is something one would like to have in a bench 5.

    I will add that IMO it will be funny if they get Brian Zoubek or Jon Scheyer. One of the most hated guys on college basketball’s most hated program joining the NBA’s most hated franchise. Kobe/Sasha/Scheyer as the Lakers’ 2s would be awesome. ;-)

    IMO Pittman will not fall that far.

    FAs:

    Kobe supposedly wants Raja Bell, which makes sense. It seems to fit with Kobe’s view of things that he would want a tough guy like Bell.

    I would like to get someone who can do a better job staying in front of PGs. Don’t know if that is Bell. Blake is not good at that, either, but my opinion of Blake is higher than that of may here. I think his skillset on O is a very good fit with the triangle and the Lakers’ system. Earl Watson was a fine defender in his prime, but is over 30 now and has no offensive value.

  17. I am not Chad Ford or any other draft expert but I think the Lakers will select Elliot Williams from Memphis with the 43rd pick. And he has the potiential to be a solid contributor down the road. And with the 58th pick I think the Lakers select Dexter Pittman from Texas. If he can get in better shape, he could definetely be productive in a couple of years.

  18. @16. With the new hand-check rules plus the prevalence of the high pick and roll, it’s pretty much impossible to stay in front of the best PGs. That’s why I favor combating them with length, and have been shouting to the moon for 6-9 Dorell Wright and his 7-2 wingspan, great hops, 39% 3-pt FG shooting, and his ability to bring the ball upcourt. Basically, he’s a taller and longer Trevor Ariza with better ballhandling, 3-pt shooting, and FT shooting (88%). I’ve probably said this 20 times in the past week, but can you imagine a perimeter defense featuring Kobe, Ron-Ron, and Wright?

    @17. Every mock draft I’ve seen has Williams selected in the first 35 picks. About half of the mocks I’ve seen have Pittman going before #43.

    Also, since J-Critt is going to play for our summer league team, it makes Warren less important to get if we keep the triangle (and if Pittman is available).

  19. My philosophy is at #43, we simply select the best talent available. There are a few previous “first rounders” who for whatever reason (most of them simply stayed in school too long and should have left; defenses were able to stop them when they came back) are now in the realm of the 2nd round. I think D. Butler, W. Warren, M. Torrance, and Randle come to mind.

    There are going to be some good bench/rotation players coming out of this draft.

  20. @12. The problem with Vasquez is that a number of GMs believe that Adam Morrison has superior lateral quickness. I’m not sure I want him out on the wing or point if I’m Mitch.

  21. RE: 20

    EXACTLY in regards to Vasquez. He’s not the answer.

    A guy I really like, in terms of fit for the current Laker team is John Scheyer. I could see him growing into a Steve Kerr type in the triangle.

  22. I think Randle would be a good pick. Also if Terrico White is available than I like him too, but he probably going to go early second round or even one of the last two picks in the first round. Mikhail Terrence could also be a decent pick.

    I don’t really like Willie Warren, but at 43 he might be the best player available at the PG/SG position.

    If the lakers go with a big man (because they are planning on signing Bell, Crittenton, and possibly another PG like Ridenour) then I would be OK with Pittman. Don’t really like Zoubek though.

  23. #43 – Greivis Vasquez (PG, Maryland)

    I don’t watch much college ball, admittedly, but from what I have seen of Vasquez I like. He’s a big guard, which is great for the triangle. He hustles and plays really hard. He seems to be a tough guy but plays under control. Someone mentioned lateral quickness as an issue, but we have shot blockers, and besides, DFish did a great job for us and I don’t think anyone could say he has the most lateral quickness. I think Greivis Vasquez probably won’t last until #43 but I hope we can pick him up. I think he’s going to surprise some people with how good he really is.

  24. 19 DY- “My philosophy is at #43, we simply select the best talent available.”

    Can’t agree more.

  25. I was at the 2008 Draft (Durant and Oden) in the Garden. I can’t even describe how electric the atmosphere was and how exciting it is to be around so many basketball fans. It’s a night where all the fans feel like their respective franchises hit the reset button, and at least for one night, the fans believe that the 19th pick and 57th pick will elevate their squad from basement dwellars to champions. You have to love that one collective feel of optimism! Everyone went crazy hearing about the Ray Allen trade that night as well.

    I believe the Lakers selected Crittenton that year, and I was more than pleased with that choice (hope he returns to LA and fulfills all that potential). My bro-in-law and I happened to bump into Kenny “Jet” Smith and Bill Cartwright on the streets as well.

    Gotta hand it to the people of NYC, they love their hoops big time. Wish I could be there tonight, but have responsibilities at work and an infant at home! Here’s hoping we find a hidden gem.

  26. Jerome Randall go bears

  27. Just a quick question, what would be easier, getting the Lakers team to learn a whole new system, or getting a coach to understand the triangle?

    The Lakers have been playing the triangle for about 9 straight years (Rudy T experiment). I don’t think you make a CHAMPION learn a new offense just because a coach leaves. Coach Jackson has done a tremendous job giving his assistant coaches more responsibility and has given sufficient preparation to step up in his stead.

    There’s no way they’re learning a new offense.

  28. Laker fan and Cal Bears fan. Randle would be great on offense, but he can’t play D at all. His lateral quickness isn’t there. He couldn’t guard the better pac10 guards, he’ll be lost on D.

  29. The ironic part of it all is that we may lose farmar because he wants to run a team in an open court offense and phil may retire changing out offensive style to suit farmar and he won’t be there anymore.

  30. The real free agent I’d love to see LA bring in that hopefully wouldn’t cost too much is travis outlaw. Real glue guy who could fit in well here.

  31. A little bit off topic but espn annouced that Hinrich and the 17th pick has just been traded to the Wizards. This helps the Bulls clearing cap space for the Rose, Deng, Bosh, Noah and Lebron starting line up (kinda scary huh?) but how does this help the Wizards having a glut of Wall, Arenas, and Hinrich with a projected $32 million combined in salary cap space. Hinrich is an expensive insurance policy for Wall.

  32. espn is reporting hinrich will go to washington, which shores up their guard rotation and more importantly means that is 1 less team drafting ahead of the lakers with a need at pg.

    encouraging.

  33. I agree with #23 Christian

    Vasquez has heart he plays hard and gets the crowd into it. He hit huge 3 pointers last year. I think he can be a good spark of the bench.

  34. Add me to the Vasquez bandwagon, although his stock is rising and by some accounts there is no way the Knicks will let him drop past their two earlier 2nd round picks.

    I’d also like to see Steve Blake in a Laker uniform… he would fit in well.

  35. @32. I think Washington’s already taking a pretty good PG with the #1 pick ;)

  36. what about Shaun Livingston? He’s a free agent this year, long, good team defense, good shooter and great attitude–he appreciates his chance to play in the NBA more than any college guy. And he was really playing well at the end of last year.

  37. @36. If his rebuilt knee can hold up, I’d take him over a number of the other players who the press keeps touting. But I’d still rather have Wright. He’s more athletic and a better defender, and a better shooter.

  38. Regarding Hinrich trade,does this mean that Chicago now has enough money for two maximum players?I think he’s owed about 9 million for the next season.Thanks

  39. I didn’t mean we should draft Vasquez, I still have a lot of doubts. I’m just intrigued to see how he turns out. Kind of like Lawson a year ago with the stats-vs-scouts debate. I’m interested to see which way this goes.

    For size, Pittman intrigues me. Drew was a butterball too at one point. And Pittman has great hands, which really intrigues me with that size. But I stand by the link I posted earlier – Mikhail could be a solid prospect down the road. If he goes undrafted, I really want to invite him to our camp.

  40. 37. I admire your insistence about Dorell Wright. I think you have officially convinced me that he may be an option in the off-season. Question is, how expensive is he going to be? I doubt Miami, with their whole “sell everything, no more air conditioning in the office” mentality will not be looking to re-up Wright. Hope he’s as good of a shooter as you think he is.

    I can’t believe I have so much enthusiasm for the #43 pick. Not to start anything, but if Washington did trade for Hinrich, could we entice them with anything (like Sasha)? :-)

  41. Dude – The discussion about Wright is interesting, I’m glad to find someone else who’s as focused on him as I am. I was one of the first advocates of Wright early last year in a FBaG post, and I’ve watched him very closely over the years (I watch a ton of Heat basketball). I still love the kid for the right price, but the more I’ve watched him, the more I see a few glaring holes.

    The reason I loved him is because I saw another Ariza-type – slightly better offensively and slightly worse defensively. I thought that if our coaching staff could develop him in the right way, he could turn into a stud.

    However, after watching him closely for so long, his mental strength and bball IQ is one of his weaknesses. He’s a bit of an airhead. I find it very, very difficult to imagine him picking up the nuances of the triangle. And playing the point (offensively) requires a knowledge of the offense. It’s what Fish has that Farmar/Brown lack – that ability to set up the offense and direct players where they need to go.

    When the head of your offense is as confused as Artest, the offense falls apart. And that’s my biggest fear with Wright. He has the physical tools Ariza had, but mentally, he’s closer to Radmanovic. There’s a reason it took him 4-5 years to find a consistent place in a very weak rotation.

    With that said, the Heat have done a poor job developing young players, IMO. So to be clear – Wright right now is not ready to come in and play the point. But if our coaching staff can develop him the way they developed Ariza and inundate him in the offense, then he could be a very valuable asset down the line.

    So for the right price (3 million), I’d love to have him. It’s why I was one of the first on the bandwagon pushing for him. But as I’ve scrutinized him over a year, there’s also a good chance he could end up being only a backup wing.

  42. 40. Thanks for the kind words…I’ve seen clips of his shot (which looks pretty pure), and read Miami blog posts of how hard he worked on his shot to get it where it is now. Supposedly he had a Jamaal Wilkes-type release when he entered the league. When I see that, then see that he shot 39% on threes and 88% on FTs last season, it makes me wonder why so many people think Blake, Ridnour, or Felton would be better PGs in the triangle offense. A PG’s ballhandling responsibilities in the triangle are basically limited to bringing the ball upcourt and initiating the offense with a post entry pass. If Wright can do that, then his other qualities make him a better option than those guys.

    I’ve seen a video clip from Feb 2008 where Iverson tried to take him off the dribble, couldn’t get by him, then tried a pull-up jumper fading to his right. Dorell blocked it, then grabbed the rebound out of the air. I think if Mitch offered him 3 yrs at 1/2 the MLE on the first night of free agency (maybe 5% raises from year to year), then Wright might want to take the contract that’s on the table, rather than waiting in line behind Riley’s big free agent targets. It could be a month-long wait for decisions to be made by Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, Boozer, and Johnson. In addition, Wright would be coming home to sign with the Lakers. He’s an LA native, and went to high school in Lawndale.

  43. Also, I’d rather have Sasha at $5 million in our PG rotation than Hinrich at $9 million, if it means we can sign Wright and re-sign Fish :D

  44. Wright was charged with a DUI earlier this year and he also was “Oden’d”:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4986101

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5038806

    If you google “Dorell Wright free agency” these are the first two hits. He was suspended two games last year by Miami after the arrest.

    So, this might make him less attractive to Miami and to other teams. I don’t see the Lakers adding a 24 year-old guy with this history, given the current roster. I think adding some young legs would be a really good idea, but I expect the adds will be players 30 or over.

    Some fans of other teams I talk to seem to think:

    a) Chris Bosh really wants to come here
    b) The Lakers would be more or less unbeatable with Bosh, pending where LeBron goes and who else goes with him.

  45. i would love to see the lakers draft jon scheyer and brian zoubek. scheyer is a consistent player at the point who doesn’t make many turnovers, an zoubek will allow bynum to take a blow every so often, while still allowing phil jackson to have 2 players at 7 feet on the floor

  46. No way we take Randle – he’s small, he doesn’t play solid D, and he requires the ball to be in his hands to be effective. He’s just a shorter Farmar.

  47. Did anyone read JA’s piece about the possible trade scenario Lakers have for Chris Paul? Pretty interesting to think about, no? Especially the point about Phil’s retirement and how it will change the offensive schemes; therefore, making Chris Paul fit in better.

  48. I really hope that Kupchak works his magic!

  49. If the Lakers are looking for players to fill out the bottom of the roster, what they really need are guys who can bring energy to practice every day, even if they rarely see any playing time. I thought that was one of the reasons the Lakers were so quick to bring back Mbenga and Powell last season.

    Other than that, I think the top priority for this team is to add speed and athleticism, especially if Brown and Farmar are leaving. Getting older vets might be nice, but we need to think more about defeating the rising young teams like OKC and Portland instead of old ghosts like the Celtics.

  50. instead of old ghosts like the Celtics

    __

    I agree to a point, as I said in 44. That said, many, many people here wrote off the Celtics throughout 2009-10 as well. Just something to remember.

    But, mostly, I think Mitch, Buss, Phil and Kobe will want vets, not guys like Dorell Wright.

  51. @44. That’s why we might be able to sign him for 1/2 the MLE. I think we need to take into account the quality and tradition of the Laker organization, and the positive effect it can have on young players.

  52. “instead of old ghosts like the Celtics”

    Those old ghosts almost knocked off the Lakers. If Perk was healthy for game 7 …

  53. I’m going to love seeing all the vitriol and disgust when the Lakers end up selling all their 2nd round picks and all this intelligent prognostication goes to waste.

  54. 53, Zephid: +1 Still the most likely scenario in my mind (at least for 43). I doubt anyone pays that much for the 58th pick.

  55. Why does everyone think Bosh and Lebron are so scary in Chicago, they are trying to trade Deng so who does that leave on the team other than Noah, and Rose? Nobody they will have 4 good players and no bench. Not scary in my opinion, one of those guys get in foul trouble and they are screwed.

  56. @53. Mitch recently said they were keeping the 43rd pick. But wait. Maybe that’s just a bargaining position to squeeze as much money from someone who wants the pick.
    /facepalm

  57. 55.

    I think you are being a bit short-sighted on this. Noah is a great defensive center with growing, but limited offensive skills. Bosh is a great power forward who has shown he can carry a team by himself, not far, but can carry a team. LeBron is LeBron. He is pretty much unstoppable when he actually cares. Derrick Rose is a good PG, arguably in the top 5 PGs in the league.

    You take that core and add a few players over the next two years, you have a juggernaut. Do you really want to play a team that has an in-prime LeBron + Bosh, a seriously improved Derrick Rose and probably the best defensive center in the league not named Dwight Howard in Joakim Noah. I am pretty sure that they will add a bench and fill out that team. But those 4 core players are young and are still improving.

  58. 57, how will they do that if they cant add with players in the draft and all of their cap space is taken up by those 4 guys? They dont have Jerry Buss as their owner who will spend big money to make sure they contend every year.

  59. 53) Zephid,
    Vitriol? On this blog?

  60. gordon hayward would look nothing like an NBA player if he werent 6 foot 8

  61. I think the Thunder just screwed up, Aldrich is good but he’s nothing more than a defensive player, they could have had 2 solid players by keeping those picks instead. It’s like putting all your eggs in one basket while they could still pick 2 big men a few picks later and have them be solid contributors off the bench.

  62. lakers need to draft andy rautins out of syracuse big guard that phil likes can shoot and pass… great basketball IQ..

  63. The thunder are just stockpiling good young players….this is getting ridiculous

  64. IMO…….Willie Warren at 43 is an ubersteal. Friggin awesome 2 years ago, struggled last year after Griffin left. Big combo guard, shaky shot, but can penetrate. I know our point needs to be able to hit the outside shot, but other than Kobe we have nobody else who can really break down the D one on one. Others I like at that point are Mikhail Torrance and Trevor Booker. However, Greivis Vasquez would be a dream, but not likely to be around at 43.

  65. San Antonio just won the draft again.

  66. One of the best picks of the draft so far by the Spurs. Those guys are dynamite when drafting it’s incredible.

  67. This one’s for Warren!

  68. Bye Bye Vasquez

  69. Wow, didn’t think that Vasquez would go in the first round. The Knicks must really want him. The guy is tough and a winner

  70. The Heat now have the ability to sign 3 Max players this season, like a Wade/Bosh/Amare scenario. I am one of the people who says there is no way Lebron and Wade go to the same team, they want to be THE MAN way too much.

  71. There goes Pittman at 32… I guess other GM’s are reading this thread!

  72. wtf. Paul Allen apparently fired the Blazers GM about an hour before the draft.

  73. as a fellow Brit I hope we draft Ryan Richards

  74. So far, both Pittman and Vasquez have been taken. However, some guys with first round grades are falling some. Will any of them drop to 43? It’s not looking likely. I’m not even sure if Zoubek will get past the Knicks…

  75. Darius, who do you think will be available at 43 for the Lakers? and who is your bet at that spot?

  76. some guys to still look out for…….Willie Warren, Mikhail Torrance, Solomon Alabi, Stanley Robinson, Lance Stephenson, Devin Ebanks, Gani Lawal. These are guys who might not be starters but could be solid rotation guys. Varnado is an excellent shot blocker as well.

  77. Lance Stephenson would be a steal at 43, he is a guy with lottery talent who should have stayed in college

  78. 77, yeah he’s just immature and shot an awful 23% from three. He was one of the best high school players 2 years ago. Teams scared off by his mindset though.

  79. If the Lakers have a close rating on either a wing, a PG, or a big man, I think they’ll lean towards the PG or the big man. That means, I think Warren is a strong possibility as is Lawal, Zoubek, or even Keith Gallon (PF, Georgia Tech).

  80. And there goes Butler. I know he was a pet player for a lot of folks on this board. I forgot he was still around…

  81. Dang, the one guy I wanted to see in a Lakers uniform gets taken one spot before we pick. BLAH I hope Da’sean Butler doesn’t amount to what I imagine him being because he could be the biggest steal of the draft.

  82. Warren for Warren…

  83. David St. Hubbins June 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Sherron Collins here?

  84. I have a feeling the Lakers go with a big man here. But, I’m usually wrong so take it with a grain of salt.

  85. Devin Ebanks…….Ariza part 2, good defense, not as athletic. He can also guard on the perimeter, ie point guards. Can’t shoot great.

  86. It’s Devin Ebanks to the Lakers

  87. Darius, why with this pick? Makes no sense at all.

  88. i warmed to ebanks when jay bilas said he guarded opposing point guards. alright.

    i hope we keep him.

  89. Hard to believe Ebanks wouldn’t have been around at 58 or not drafted at all.

  90. 87. It makes sense if you think solely from a defensive perspective. I would have taken Warren, but not mad for taking Ebanks. Lot of guys upset with no Zoubek, but IMO Alabi and Jordan are both better than Z. He can not get up and down the floor. Say what you want about Mbenga, but at least he can move a little bit.

  91. 88. But that’s PGs in college, there is no way he can duplicate that in the pro level.

    JD, but that is defense at a position we dont need. We needed either PG or C

  92. #87. I’ll have some analysis on the entire Lakers’ draft tomorrow, but Ebanks is a solid pick. He’s a very good defender, came from a winning program, and has a good BBIQ (per his scouting report). He’s not a shooter, but he’s a slasher on offense (which fills a need) and can defend multiple positions. He’s also a good athlete that rebounds well and has good physical measurements. I think big man and guard were bigger “needs” but the draft is only one way to acquire players. Remember too, guard and big man are the “decision making” positions in the Lakers’ offense while if this player plays in the “Ariza” role (mostly off the ball and just slashes) he may end up being a very good fit.

  93. Think of it this way. A lot of guys clamoring for Dorrell Wright. Ebanks is Wright at 500k.

  94. Also, Ebanks was the 32nd ranked player by Chad Ford and the 30th over at Draft Express. He’s definitely got pro potential and the Lakers got him at 43. I’m not sure if he would have lasted until #58, but I have a feeling a guy like Randall or Zoubek or Scheyer might. There are still some Euro guys that sure to be drafted (as well as some of the college kids that are falling) and the Lakers may still luck out and get a player that makes the team at 58.

  95. @93…without a jumpshot of course….hehe.

  96. Ebanks can’t shoot like Wright. Really, Ebanks’s success in our system will come down to how much he can improve his shooting.

    Let’s hope Kobe gives him the same shooting regimen he gave Ariza, and let’s see what happens. If he can guard quick college PGs, he should be able to do so in the NBA. I haven’t seen him play, but I like the scouting reports.

    Wow, Solomon Alabi fell this far? I missed the entire first round. Wasn’t he a projected 1st-round pick? I was never a huge fan, but if he falls to 58, that’d be a steal.

  97. Does anyone know what Ebanks was ranked on Hollinger’s draft ranker? His system has done well over the years, albeit not as well for intangible role players.

  98. How about Sherron Collins here?

  99. @ 95…..Dorrell Wright doesn’t have much of a jump shot either, Ariza was also woeful from outside when picked in the 2nd round by the Knicks. We don’t need a world beater, just a guy to fill a role. Now at 58, we can still get one of Scheyer, Randall, Collins, perhaps Warren. I think they’ll go big with that pick though.

  100. @96 Hollinger’s draft ranker has Ebanks at 27. Nice.

    Glad to see management realizing we need some footspeed and athleticism on the wing.

    Also, Willie Warren at 40, Mikhail Torrence at 35, Jon Scheyer 26,
    Zoubek 32 according to Hollinger.

  101. The big thing with Ebanks is, reading the scouting reports, he loves to play defense. Defense, more than anything else, is a mentality. As long as a player like that can find a small niche offensively (even if its only corner 3s, like Bowen), they can hang around this league and fill a role.

    I’m excited. It’s always fun to see new blood and watch them grow with our team.

    My guy Torrance is still on the board…he might still be there at 58…

  102. from yahoo:

    Analysis: Devin Ebanks has first-round athleticism, but the unpolished West Virginia forward hasn’t developed a jump shot to complement his stellar perimeter defense. Shades of Trevor Ariza in 2004, perhaps? — Jeff Eisenberg

  103. Via Chris Ford’s twitter: “Lakers take Ebanks. Great pick. Could be this year’s Trevor Ariza. A lockdown perimeter defender.”

  104. David St. Hubbins June 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Harangody to the Celts. I guess Veal Scalabrine’s days on the bench in Boston are numbered

  105. Just please dont draft Zoubek at 58, PLEASE

  106. Is it me or does Ebanks kind of look like Ariza too?

  107. either torrance or randle drop to Lakers. victory is ours!

  108. Manny Harris for value perhaps?

  109. Mitch, give me Torrance!!!

    My guess is it’ll be an international pick no one’s heard of.

  110. Well, at least we’re increasing our character.

    Cue the obvious jokes.

    I doubt this guy sticks around over our bigs. I’m confused at the pick. Guess Mitch knows you’re not getting PG help in the 2nd-round.

  111. Wow, Derek Caracter and what a character he is. Had a ton of talent, but a lot of run ins with Pitino at Louisville and transferred to UTEP. Anybody remember reading about him in junior high. As an 8th grader he was 6’8…hope his game has grown more than he has.

  112. Wow Barry just nailed Jeff Van Gundy! That was awesome. They both seem like pricks.

    Ford like Caracter, FWIW>

  113. hm, no PG? Designs on Blake?

  114. I hope the Lakers invite a guy like Jerome Randall to their summer league team to see if he can make the roster

  115. We can still sign undrafted players like Torrance, Collins etc, right?

  116. Forgive my awful grammar, I was trying to get an edit in as my 5 minutes were expiring. Ford on his Twitter says Caracter is a good value pick here, for what it’s worth.

    Anyone seen this guy play? Does he have a chance at beating out Kobe’s BFF for a spot?

  117. Freakin’ Clippers snag Willie Warren two spots ahead of us!!!

  118. 116, seen him play really good rebounder, but according to Eric Pincus he may be on his way to Denver via trade.

    so remember I tweeted Nuggets trying to get into 2nd to get Caracter? looks like they did – at Lakers 58

    http://twitter.com/ericpincus

  119. There are some reports surfacing that the Lakers sold the rights to Caracter to the Nuggets. Nothing confirmed yet and I haven’t gotten any word from any LA sources, but it may be going down. I’ll have an update when I can get a confirmation.

  120. From Chad Ford:
    Derrick Caracter 6-10 280 PF UTEP
    The Lakers will send this pick to the Nuggets. Caracter has a ton of talent — the concern has always been about his attitude. The Nuggets really wanted him and do have a need for him on the front line. Good pick.

    Any word on what the trade is? Did Mitch just sell the pick? Whatever — flipping between the draft and Game 7 replay on NBATV = a good night in my book.

  121. Starting out the season by selling a #58 pick can’t be that bad.

  122. Saw highlights of Kevin Ebanks. He looks like an Ariza type, very athletic, but more polished offensively. Has a nice mid-range jumper, and plays tenacious D. One of those players who can play and guard multiple positions. Hope he makes the team and develops well in the D-League next season or two

  123. The more I think about it, the more I like Ebanks. Artest + Walton are obviously not athletic, so it’s nice to have an athletic defender like Ebanks. Sorry Dude that Abides, but we just found a Dorell Wright for 1/8th the cost. I like the kid’s enthusiasm (per some LA beat writers’ tweets) for LA as well as his Queens connection with Artest and Odom.

    I hope we got on the phone with Mikhail Torrance and give him a chance to showcase himself at training camp. I’m ok with us not getting Willie Warren…I’m sure the FO had many good reasons not to take him at #43. Also, since the Clippers took him, I now trust the FO’s decision even more.

  124. i think phil is floating the retirement idea just to make the lakers think hard about giving him what he deserves which is a new contract every year until they are no longer champs. and that means NO pay cut!

    and please we kno byron scott is waiting in the wings. buss has already tipped his hand on this…

  125. 121- I agree… last season started with selling three picks for cash, and I seem to recall that turning out pretty well.

  126. So I like the Ebanks pick. I wish Willie Warren would’ve still been there for us at 58. I think we would’ve kept the pick then.
    I’d like to see them invite Zoubek to camp. I wasn’t sure if he was a bit slow and offensively challenged, but definitely worth a try now that he’s undrafted. Great banger and rebounder. He’s at 32 on Hollinger’s ratings, and 43 on Bilas list.

    -S

  127. haha another player with an attitude problem goes to the Nuggets! Add him to the Thug team of Melo, Martin, JR Smith, Birdman, and that team will implode next season. Only George Karl keeps that team sane. For their sake, hope he comes back

  128. Very OT, but has anyone seen this video clip starring (wait for it) Ron Artest and Helen Mirren?! I’m serious!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIQ5BEZaZKI

  129. 40. Snoopy, just saw your post. Thanks for the heads-up on Wright’s low b-ball IQ. I guess we got the 2004 version of Trevor Ariza with our first pick. I’m coming around to this pick, but I really wanted Alabi when he became available at #43. Mitch has hurt us in the past when he drafted for need instead of best player available, and Alabi was by far the BPA at 43. Most of the mocks had him between 18 and 25. He was the best player available AND he would have filled a need, if we weren’t bringing Mbenga back. Maybe DJ is returning, I don’t know. Anyway, time for Ebanks to get his hands on Kobe’s instructional shooting DVD :D

  130. Did you guys catch the Portland to Minny trade? Webster for white guy and a girthy perennial loser. This team is pulling some awful moves in a hurry.

    Fire one of the top young GMs in the league who built you a promising team – check.

    Trade away your second-best perimeter scorer who would start on most teams – check.

    Don’t get me wrong, the worse they get, the more glad I am (the turds in green are the only team I hate more than the Blazers) but this is like watching a world-class implosion happening in just hours. Mind-boggling. I wonder if Allen is finally mad at Pritchard for picking Oden over Durant two years ago.

  131. lol @ “Willie Warren…I’m sure the FO had many good reasons not to take him at #43. Also, since the Clippers took him, I now trust the FO’s decision even more.”

    Thanks DY 123

  132. Why would Denver do that deal when odds are Caracter could have gone undrafted?

  133. Ebanks:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7vLW94NFmw

    Great pick. Defender, rebounds his fair share, and smart with the ball. His job at WVU was to defend the other team’s scorer. And so he took on John Wall in last year’s March Madness (Wall: 7-18, 1-5, 4-8). Lastly, see the comment from kaoss128 here:

    http://forums.lakersground.net/viewtopic.php?p=3293912

    Didn’t see the one game, but who am I to doubt that he shut down Mr. Turner there in the 2nd half.

  134. Ebanks sounds like he had some serious attitude problems from the DraftExpress writeup.

  135. 133, the reasons those numbers against Wall look so bad is because Wall is not a great jump shooter yet. He (nor anyone else on for Kentucky) could hit a jump shot to save their lives, and a ton of these jumpers were wide open if you rewatch the game he didn’t do much on defense.

    But if he takes defense as personal as he says and can guard a guy like Durant when Artest loses a step then I guess I can be okay with the pick. But who am I kidding if he can contribute more consistently than Luke I will be pleased.

  136. The latest I’ve read is that Denver didn’t meet the team’s price for Caracter, so it appears we’re keeping him for now.

  137. 135, okay. WVU v. OSU, 1/23/10. Evan Turner, 6-17, 0-2, 6-10. From the Columbus Dispatch:

    “Evan Turner had 18 points and 11 rebounds but was held without a field goal and had just one assist in the second half after West Virginia coach Bob Huggins switched 6-foot-9 Devin Ebanks on him.

    “I thought we over-helped on him the first half,” Huggins said. “I just wanted Devin to stay in front of him and (force him to) make shots over the top of Devin, and that’s hard.”"

    OSU led by 12 at the half. Then to start the 2nd half, again from the Columbus Dispatch:

    “Six second-chance points off offensive rebounds keyed a 10-0 start for West Virginia that trimmed Ohio State’s lead to two points in the first 2:42.

    A three-pointer by Bryant tied the score at 52 for the first time in the game with 10:25 left.
    ***
    The Mountaineers had 11 more field-goal attempts than the Buckeyes in the second half thanks in part to a 7-1 advantage in offensive rebounds and a 20-12 edge overall. Ebanks and Kevin Jones combined for all seven offensive rebounds.”

  138. It seems like a lot of decent pg’s went undrafted. I’d like the Lakers to take a look at Randle, Torrance, Collins and Alexy Shved, maybe one of them can make the team

  139. Wow, he really does look like Ariza in those pictures. Maybe next year after the Rockets get knocked out we can convince Trevor to suit up in Ebanks jersey.

  140. Jerome Randle will be playing for Washington’s summer league reportedly, lost out on him

  141. I’m not too happy about the picks. Even though Ebanks adds some athleticism to the team, we still have no consistent shooters. I don’t want to risk the season let alone a chance for a 3 peat for him to develop a jumpshot

  142. Draft Express tweeted that Alabi has a Hepatitis B issue. Which means he has it, he had it and has gotten over it, or he’s a carrier with no symptoms. That red flag sent him from the 15-25 range all the way down to 50.

  143. the more i read about caracter, the more i like him. i think he might even be more valuable than ebanks, in the long run.

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/06/05/slimmed-down-caracter-might-be-nba-drafts-most-intriguing-prosp/

  144. These second round picks are non-guaranteed, meaning the Lakers don’t have to keep them if they don’t like what they see. Even if Ebanks makes the team, he will not be part of the rotation nor be given significant minutes. So don’t worry about jumpshots, defensive abilities or what not. He will not be asked to contribute or play a significant role for the three-peat bid

  145. Bring back Phil!

    Bosh indicated having a proven coach could play a factor in his decision about where to play next season. “The coach, pretty much, is the leader of your team,” Bosh said. “And if you have a good coach, that gives you better chances in certain situations. I think a lot of guys want to play for a good coach. And to be put in the right position, that has a lot to do with it. You want to look at situations for winning and that’s one of them. So I think a well-led team is very important in the decision-making process.” SI.com

  146. First, Ron-ron. Now a spitting image of me. Never thought LA love/hate me that much.

  147. Re: Ebanks’ alleged character issues, and Caracter’s verified character issues, the Lakers are the type of team that is perfect for these guys because there is a perfect structure to help these guys maximize their talents, notwithstanding their alleged flaws.

    Kobe, Odom, Fisher, and even Artest, will help keep these guys in check. Also, I like the “edge” that these two kids bring as opposed to our finesse guys like Walton/Sasha. Should make for very colorful practices. I’m hoping that Caracter sticks with the team because we really could use a Big Baby type PF who we can throw out against Dejuan Blair, Millsaps, etc. Don’t even begin with Josh Powell as to that area.

    I have high hopes for Ebanks and maybe Caracter. I hope we can get one of the undrafted PGs to camp, have them fight it out with Critt. I do think we need an upgrade in youth, athleticism, and feisty-ness, and these guys are the right type of picks. Plus, Ebanks is the type of first-round quality found in the second round that we needed.

  148. One last thought…gotta run to argue in court today so my mind has been racing all morning!

    I truly believe this summer’s moves for the Lakers may have a theme of bringing in guys who seek “redemption” and can bring an extra gear to the edge that any repeat champions need. Artest was a prime example of how that worked last year.

    You even look at the guys selected in the draft, no one has more to prove than Caracter, who was a highly acclaimed talent coming out of high school. Good organizations can bring out the best in every player. Look to the rumors of signing Crittenton, who needs more redemption than this kid?

    As for our “redemption” projects, I’d say no to the following reclamation projects: AI, Tmac, Arenas, VC. These guys are pretty set in their ways; the youngsters I mentioned are amenable to playing ball the right away and especially so under the fierce eyes of Kobe and Fisher.

    Look for this reoccuring theme this summer re: free agent pick-ups. I think it would behoove us to find players with an edge who are desperately seeking an opportunity to contribute, but find other doors of opportunity shut.

  149. What about scottie reynolds? Get him into camp.

  150. Isn’t Morrow a restricted free agent? Wouldn’t that be even better than Wright? What’s the price on him? Chances?

  151. Dude – I agree, I was surprised we skipped on Alabi. This late, aren’t you just hoping for upside at this point? I (tentatively) trust Mitch’s judgment, he must have seen something in Alabi’s game that screamed bust. But I was surprised. Can’t be worse than Mbenga for a 5th big.

    Ebanks is from Queensbridge. Of course he’s going to have characters issues.

    Keep this up and we’ll have to rename our team the Queens.

  152. I really hope the Lakers are going to do something about their poor perimeter shooting. It doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for some reason.

  153. 153. Snoopy, word is that the Hep B issue with Alabi isn’t very serious. Which could mean that he’s over it, or he’s an asymptomatic carrier. And if he’s a carrier with no symptoms, he could give it to a groupie, who could then….ok nevermind.

  154. So how does Bosch fit in playing time wise if Bynum, Gasol, Odam, and Artest are all healthy?