Possible Options For the Lakers At The No. 48 Pick

Andre Khatchaturian —  June 27, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had the greatest success in the NBA Draft in recent years and having the 48th pick this year doesn’t help their chances of ending their slump of drafts that add useful contributors.

And while history shows that there are diamonds in the rough that can be had in the part of the draft the Lakers are selecting, it would be a mistake to think that this is the norm. Since 1990, 16 of the 23 picks selected at 48th overall played fewer than 100 games in their career. Furthermore, six of those 16 never played (or have yet to play) a single game. Only two players drafted at No. 48 overall have averaged double figures in points – Marc Gasol and Cedric Ceballos. Five others (Mickael Gelabale, Alvin Williams, Jamie Feick, Mark Davis, and Isaac Austin) had modest NBA careers.

In short, the chances of the Lakers landing a solid contributor are low.

An All-Star like Pau’s younger brother? Possible, but slim.

That being said, the Lakers still must go out to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and draft someone that they think will help improve their team. For a team that struggled with injuries last year, having young depth would be a welcome addition. So finding that depth is the goal.

With Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison, Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, and Darius Morris all potentially entering free agency, the Lakers could use a contributor at any position. Here are several players that may be available when the Lakers are on the clock:

Mike Muscala, PF/C (Bucknell): The 6’11″, 230 lb PF/C is coming off a fabulous senior year, averaging 18.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for the Bison. Most importantly, Muscala was phenomenal in terms of value added. Muscala added 5.31 percent to Bucknell’s scoring and took away 2.67 percent from the opponent’s scoring for a total impact of 7.98 percent – good enough for 12th best in the nation. Despite this, Muscala is projected by NBADraft.net to go at No. 50. The smart numbers like Muscala, but perhaps the lack of exposure he received playing in Bucknell has made him fly under the radar. Muscala played four years in college. Though this may mean that he has limited upside, it could also mean he’s more developed than freshman or sophomore. This is important because there’s a chance he could step up and play immediately, much like Robert Sacre did last year.

DeShaun Thomas, SF/PF (Ohio State): Coming in at 6’6″, 220 lb, Thomas is a strong, quick, and athletic forward who excels on the offensive side of the ball. Thomas averaged 19.8 points per game and added the Buckeyes’ offense by 6.53 percent – the seventh highest offensive value added this year. His weakness comes on the defensive side of the ball, but his offensive ability makes up for it. Thomas could reach and perhaps exceed his offensive potential in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive minded system. NBADraft.net sees DeShaun Thomas going at No. 41 in their mock draft.

Pierre Jackson, PG (Baylor): With Goudelock and Morris both hitting free agency, the Lakers are only left with Nash (who is 39 and coming off an injury plagued season), the inconsistent Chris Duhon and Steve Blake at the point guard position. So, drafting a point guard may not be out of the realm of possibilities for the Lakers considering these factors. Jackson was ranked 13th in the nation in terms of value added and is projected to go in the middle of the second round. The analytics like him and drafting him at No. 48 could turn out to be a steal for the Lakers. Jackson averaged 19.8 points and 7.1 assists per game and he’ll have the opportunity to elevate his game in a point guard oriented system under D’Antoni. Jackson is only 5’10″, but there have been many serviceable NBA point guards under six feet, especially now with the hand-check rules what they are on the perimeter.

Peyton Siva, PG (Louisville): Siva is another point guard that the Lakers may consider drafting. Siva was part of Louisville’s National Championship team this past year and has experience playing in big moments. Siva is also a fantastic defender, taking away 2.65 percent of his opponents’ scoring – 26th best in the nation. The Lakers have a history of poor defense against opposing point guards as their oPER against that specific position was a whopping 18.0. Siva can help mitigate that glaring stat. He is projected to go in the late second round by NBADraft.net.

Erik Murphy, PF (Florida): Murphy’s athleticism and physical strength (6’10″, 240 lb.) would be a welcome addition to the Lakers front court. Murphy was also a senior this year, meaning he probably doesn’t need as much development as a younger player. The big man didn’t put up the most astounding numbers (12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game), but he had a 6.45 value added rating – 41st best in the nation.

James Southerland, SF/PF (Syracuse): The 6’8″, 221 lb. forward is expected to be a small forward when he’s eventually drafted. The Lakers currently only have Metta World Peace – who recently opted in to the final year of his contract – as a SF on their roster. Needless to say, they’re thin in that position and could use an athletic forward who can play defense and hit the three ball. Southerland hit near 40% of his triples this past season and also took away 2.23 percent of his opponents’ scoring defensively. Both skills could prove quite useful for the Lakers next season.

Again, there shouldn’t be this huge expectation that the Lakers draft a difference maker in the slot in which they’re picking. That said, finding another contributing player would go a long way in bolstering their depth and with limited ways to improve their roster this off-season, the draft could prove to be a big way to achieve this goal. The team is coming off a year where they received minimal bench production. A steal in the second round, no matter the position, can help the Lakers rebound quickly and ease the team’s transition back to greatness.

(Statistical support from valueaddbasketball.com, statsheet.com and 82games.com)

Andre Khatchaturian

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12 responses to Possible Options For the Lakers At The No. 48 Pick

  1. It would appear that all Laker moves are on hold pending Dwight decision. This is a shame since this uncertainty will prevent the Lakers from making moves that could net them pieces for the future.

    Personally, I think Dwight is gone. If I was armed with this insight I would go all in on a rebuild starting tonight. There is no potential sign and trade that nets young talent worth building around. No, I do not put any credence in the rumored Clipper deal.

    I have friends who tell me that absent Howard the Lakers will shift Pau to center and will compete for a title next year. Please… If Dwight leaves next season will be ugly. Why not make it really ugly by acquiring as much young talent this evening.

    By drafting well and signing some key free agents the Lakers could be competing again as soon as the 2015 – 2016 season.

  2. There are three basic problems with the tanking thing:

    1. The Lakers have literally never done it in the 53 years since the franchise came to LA.
    2. It guarantees nothing except a lot of losses. People who want to do it talk about Andrew Wiggins and teams like OKC; you never hear them talking about Andrea Bargnani and teams like Washington.
    3. To really do it, you would have to either
    a) Convince Kobe to sit out the year
    b) Amnesty him
    or
    c) Believe that he cannot actually come back

    If Howard walks for nothing, the Lakers will be in a very bad place, and all options will have to be examined. But tanking next year is not a particularly appealing option on a number of levels.

  3. Reports today from Yahoo Sports says he dosen’t want to resign with Mike D system and he dosen’t like the LA fans. there us no turning back from that. He would get booed off the court.

    Plan B?

  4. Plan B?

    ________

    S/T options.

  5. rr: I appreciate the feedback

    My greatest fear is that the Lakers will fall into that no man’s land of not being good enough to compete and not being bad enough to acquire needed talent. That my friend is a treadmill to nowhere and it can last for years.

    With all those salaries clearing our books next summer we have a natural reset anyway. Without Dwight this year is lost (if you believe that the Lakers only play for championships). All I’m saying is that the team should do a little deck clearing this summer as well.

    Kobe’s reaction is a concern. I know he wants to win but the reality is we can’t continue to put band aids on this thing.

  6. unrelated:
    Darius-
    Dug the Roots video man, right on (Questlove is da sh**)

    ——–
    1. The Lakers have literally never done it in the 53 years since the franchise came to LA.

    rr: and we never, ever should

  7. If one believes all the reports then Dwight is gone. Man, the Lakers are looking at an uphill battle next year. I think this puts the playoffs out of reach.

    rr said that Plan B consists of sign and trades. I don’t know if there are any that are very attractive. I’m discounting the rumored Clipper trade which I don’t believe will happen. ESPN has mentioned Houston would offer Lin and Asik. These are expensive marginal players – the Lakers would be crazy to accept that.

    It’s looking more and more likely that he signs with Houston outright and we will get nothing back.

  8. rr and Purple Blood: Just and FYI – Boston is starting their rebuild with a proposed trade of KG and Pierce to the Nets for a deal centered on future #1s.

    Its not always a bad thing to take a step back so you can take two forward in the future.

  9. Its not always a bad thing to take a step back so you can take two forward in the future

    1. That deal hasn’t happened yet.
    2. Kobe is basically untradeable, so it is not a good comp.

  10. That my friend is a treadmill to nowhere and it can last for years.

    People say this a lot, but it is questionable. Indiana never tanked. Memphis never tanked. Miami did tank all the way to 15-67, but doing so didn’t lead to the James teams. The Lakers didn’t tank after Magic retired and had a Shaq-ready roster when he hit FA. Houston never tanked and had the resources to land Harden and now has a Howard-ready roster. Meanwhile, other teams have lost 55-60 games or more and then stayed in the lottery for years (Washington, Minnesota) or topped out at 50 wins (Atlanta).

    Big-time players on the move generally want to join teams with decent rosters and some established talent. A good example: supposedly LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of Portland. Some people (not you) in favor of tanking seem to think that it will mean that the Lakers will get Andrew Wiggins and LeBron James. That is very, very, unlikely.

  11. So, BOS/BKN deal is a go.

  12. rr,
    The Lakers never tanked after losing Magic but they got really, really bad. That really, really badness put them in a position to land Eddie and Nick. Those players were then added to the young players who had a chance to play with Magic, in Vlade and Elden. Also, the financial limitations on the salary cap are entirely different then in the era you reference. You can’t outbid other teams on Shaq like you used to.

    I got a text from my buddy yesterday, “Beat you to the rebuild”. He’s a Celtics fan. I told him, “If Dwight doesn’t sign we better be just behind you”. It just makes no sense to have a middling team. Suppose Nash is healthy, Pau gets back into all-star form as a center and Kobe is back in December. All that said, you think that team will be any better then last season’s? I think that team would be struggling to make the playoffs again. The only teams that should be fighting to make the playoffs are young, up and coming teams, still learning how to play and win together on this level. A veteran team needs to be competing for a championship or be horrible.

    I think this bit from the Classical is an interesting case in point. http://theclassical.org/articles/build-and-destroy-or-sam-hinkie-is-here