While most of the attention on the Lakers this draft season stem from them holding the #2 overall pick, the team also holds the #32 selection in the upcoming draft. With that, we will be having a series of posts on potential options for that selection. This installment looks at a draft-and-stash option in Isaia Cordinier from France.
Shooting Guard, 6’5″, 180 lbs. Denain ASC Voltaire, 19 years old
23.4 minutes, 10.8 points, 46.3 field goal percentage, 77.9 free throw percentage, 2.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks.
Big Board Rankings:
Draft Express – 39, CBS (Sam Vecenie) – 42, Sports Illustrated – 51, ESPN (Chad Ford) — 44
Isaia Cordinier is 6’5 with a 6’8 wingspan and is very athletic. He’s got a lot of potential going forward, but he’s definitely not ready to contribute to the NBA right now, which isn’t a bad thing for the Lakers. If you want a player who has about the same height, weight, and wingspan, look at a young guy on the Lakers by the name of Jordan Clarkson. While Clarkson is older, Cordinier is going to need some time before coming over to the United States, which makes him a very good draft-and-stash prospect.
Cordinier is going to be a good player who cuts to the rim, a guy who can hit the outside shot on occasion, and make good passes. What stands out about the 19-year-old is that he hit 40 percent from three in his last season for Denain. He’s a good athlete, so he should become solid at attacking the rim. He only averaged two assists, but he also only played 23 minutes per game this past season. He’s shown the ability to hit his teammates, though.
While the youngster from France isn’t super lengthy, he was still able to grab about 1.2 steals per game in his limited minutes. He gives it his all when he’s on the defensive end, and his athleticism helps him out. What really stands out is his ability to pressure the ball. Right when his opponent gets the ball, he gets in their face and hounds them as quickly as he can.
Isaia Cordinier is very raw still at this stage in his career. He’s not playing against very good competition in France, as he’s up against their B pro league. Even against the meager competition, Cordinier still turned the ball over more than twice a game, good for a turnover percentage of almost 21 percent. His ball-handling is a work in progress, and he still makes some dumb decisions with the ball in his hands. He’s also still not the best shooter; he really needs to work on his catch-and-shoot shots because he needs to get his feet set a lot of the time. Because he’s not strong enough yet, he struggles to finish through contact. One of his biggest strengths is cutting to the rim, but it’s offset a bit by his ability to finish against bigger defenders.
Just like Jordan Clarkson, the Frenchman is going to struggle on the defensive side of the ball because of his weight and length. Once he starts going up against bigger opponents like a James Harden, he’s going to have a really hard time. He should be able to guard smaller players, but he won’t be able to guard more than a point guard and smaller shooting guard. This is also one of the reasons why he gets in foul trouble so often. In his 23 minutes, Cordinier averages over three fouls per game. His ball-hounding also comes into play here.
Where he fits in with the Lakers:
The Lakers have a bunch of young guys on the roster, and adding in Brandon Ingram (or Ben Simmons, if the 76ers throw a curve at us tonight) is going to add even more youth. The Lakers may not be too keen to bring on another rookie, so Isaia Cordinier comes into play here because of his draft-and-stash potential. He can play in France for another year or two to get stronger and work on his game, and the Lakers get to keep an open roster spot.
If he were able to come over in two years, he could add a lot to the team. He has the potential to be a playmaking combo guard who can also defend. His ability to hit open threes, dish the ball a bit, cut to the rim, and potentially become a solid defender makes him an enticing option for the Lakers who could use some depth. 32 may be a bit of a reach, but we’ve seen the Lakers surprise us with some of their picks recently.