Lakers ready for predraft workouts

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
6:26
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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The Los Angeles Lakers will conduct their first round of predraft workouts to evaluate prospects on Wednesday, just more than three weeks before the NBA draft on June 26.

The team has only one selection in the first round at No. 7 and does not have any second-round picks.

The Lakers are bringing in 12 players to their practice facility Wednesday.

Why so many? A couple reasons. First of all, there is always the possibility the Lakers could acquire more picks. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told the Los Angeles Daily News at the predraft combine in Chicago last month that his goal was to do just that. Considering L.A.'s bare cupboard when it comes to tradable assets, the team could end up trading down to get the additional pick Kupchak mentioned. Philadelphia (picks Nos. 10, 32, 39, 47, 52 and 54), Phoenix (picks Nos. 14, 18, 27 and 50), Charlotte (picks Nos. 9, 24 and 45) and Chicago (picks Nos. 16, 19 and 49) all possess later picks they could package to L.A. to try to move up to No. 7.

Furthermore, there is no downside to working out more players. It is simply gathering information. The Lakers were so impressed with their predraft workout with Steve Blake in 2003 that he stayed on their radar until they signed him as a free agent in 2010. Much like the coaching search the Lakers are currently undertaking, the benefit in casting a wide net is it allows them to learn more.

The Lakers won't stop at Wednesday’s workout, either. Odds are they will have another group session, if not several more. From there, once they start to figure out which players they prefer, follow-up workouts will be scheduled.

Here's a quick look at the dozen players L.A. invited to workouts this week:

Tyler Ennis


College: Syracuse | Position: G | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 182
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 16 to Chicago

As a freshman, Ennis led the Orange to a 25-0 start this past season. He impressed with his decision-making and poise but struggled shooting the ball (41.1 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from 3).

 

Brendan Lane


College: Pepperdine | Position: F | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 235
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: N/A

The local product transferred from UCLA to Pepperdine, where he got a chance to show his talents after mostly riding the bench with the Bruins. He averaged 13 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his senior season with the Waves.

 
[+] EnlargeMarcus Smart
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiMarcus Smart is thought by some to be in the mold of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose in his ability to attack the basket.

Marcus Smart


College: Oklahoma State | Position: G | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 8 to Sacramento

It's widely thought that Smart would have been a top-5 pick had he come out a year ago. Even if he has dropped a bit, he is still an athletic, attack-mode combo guard in the mold of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.

 

Nik Stauskas


College: Michigan | Position: G | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 205
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 10 to Philadelphia

The Big Ten player of the year seems to be on the rise, with a workout scheduled with Boston (No. 6) next week following his time with the Lakers. The big guard is known for his shooting and passing touch.

 

Noah Vonleh


College: Indiana | Position: F | Height: 6-10 | Weight: 240
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 5 to Utah

Vonleh's numbers in his freshman season (11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds) weren't overwhelming. Then again, he did shoot 48.5 percent on 3-pointers and has a body that will fill out. His ceiling is Chris Bosh.

 

James Young


College: Kentucky | Position: G-F | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 215
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 15 to Atlanta

Julius Randle and the Harrison brothers got most of the attention in Lexington last season, but Young has the potential to be a better pro than any of them. He was at his best in the Final Four, averaging 18.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two games.

 

Aaron Gordon


College: Arizona | Position: F | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 225
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 6 to Boston

As the NBA continues to shift toward a position-less league, Gordon's overt athleticism should help him overcome his "tweener" status. He averaged 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in his freshman season at Arizona.

 

Gary Harris


College: Michigan State | Position: G | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 205
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 11 to Denver

With so few top-level shooting guards in the league, Harris has become all the more intriguing as a prospect. He is a legitimate two-way player with a deadly pull-up jumper.

 

Rodney Hood


College: Duke | Position: G | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 208
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 19 to Chicago

Hood is as athletic a player as there is in the draft. The left-hander averaged 16.1 points in his freshman season and shot 42 percent from 3 and 80.7 percent from the foul line. The big guard just needs his skills to catch up to his body.

 
[+] EnlargeZach LaVine
Andrew Fielding/USA TODAY SportsZach LaVine might not have had the best numbers in his one season at UCLA, but his athleticism and potential excite NBA scouts.

Zach LaVine


College: UCLA | Position: G | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 181
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 14 to Phoenix
He reminds you of Michael Carter-Williams, only with a better jump shot. His numbers weren't great (9.4 points on 44.1 percent shooting and 1.8 assists as a freshman), but he showed flashes of greatness.

 

Doug McDermott


College: Creighton | Position: F | Height: 6-8 | Weight: 218
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 9 to Charlotte

He was the best scorer in the country (26.7 points on 52.6 percent shooting overall and 44.9 percent from 3) and got better and better in his four seasons with the Bluejays. The question is whether he'll be able to guard opposing small forwards in the league.

 

Elfrid Payton


College: Louisiana | Position: G | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 185
Chad Ford Mock Draft 6.0 position: No. 20 to Toronto

He is known for his length (6-foot-7 wingspan) and penetrating ability (8.6 free throw attempts per game), but he needs to work on his jump shot (25.9 percent from 3). Nonetheless, his overall numbers in his junior season were impressive (19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists per game).

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0