- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer
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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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).