The Los Angeles Lakers are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, and now that Kobe Bryant is out the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff, the Lakers will try and tank the rest of the season to the best draft pick possible.
Los Angeles desperately needs to find some young players they can bank their future on, and their best chance to do so is through the draft. However, if their pick falls outside the top five, it goes to the Phoenix Suns as part of the trade that made Steve Nash a Laker.
Los Angeles will do everything they can to keep that pick in the top five so they can land one of these players:
Stats: 17.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.9 apg
Mudiay would have been leading the SMU Mustangs for Larry Brown this season, but decided to play in China for a year instead. He’s displayed his all-around game against full grown men, something the other top prospects in the country can't. His size and athletic ability have scouts thinking he could be a taller, smarter Russell Westbrook. Mudiay has star potential and could succeed Kobe as the face of the Lakers.
Stats: 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.4 bpg
It takes a lot for someone to stand out on Kentucky’s talented roster, but that’s what Towns does every time he steps on the floor. Towns has the potential to be better than Okafor because of his athleticism, but he still doesn’t have any consistent post moves he can rely on - though he is starting to develop them. We don’t know how he’ll respond to being the focal point of an offensive or defensive attack, but he’s shown that he’s a team-first player franchises love.
Los Angeles would pair him with Julius Randle, last year's No. 7 overall pick. Randle is an offense-first player while Towns is defense-first guy, so they would play off each other very well.
Stats: 14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Johnson was the second most hyped player in this freshman class, he’s lived up to that hype. He’s been the most productive wing player among all freshman, and has been the defensive force scouts wanted to see. Couple that with his athleticism and improved shooting stroke (42.9% from long-range), and it’s easy to see why many think he’ll be able to make an impact in the NBA right away.
Johnson doesn't have the potential of the other guys on this list, but his floor is higher than everyone else's. He won't turn into the star that the Lakers are looking for, but he competes hard every night, be their best defensive player, and do whatever it takes to win. Championship teams need players like Johnson though he might not have the appeal of some other prospects.
Stats: 17.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Okafor is undoubtedly the top player in the country, and many think he’s a better prospect than Andrew Wiggins. He has a fully developed post game, quick feet, soft hands, and runs the floor well. Okafor has also developed into a solid defender at Duke, and he seems destined to be the next great NBA big man.
He's the consensus No. 1 pick, and the Knicks, Sixers, and Timberwolves all have much better shots than the Lakers to land the top spot. If the ping pong balls somehow bounce LA's way, they'll take Okafor - but if not, there's no chance he'll be available for them.Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed