The Los Angeles Lakers have spent the better part of a decade utilizing free agency and the trade market to build their franchise. As for the NBA Draft, that has been a virtual afterthought, starting from the selection of Andrew Bynum in 2005.
2012 was no different, as the Lakers gave away both of their first-round draft choices at the trade deadline. In the end, the Lakers ended up with just one pick on draft day: the 60th and final overall selection of the evening.
With that pick, the Lakers selected center Robert Sacre out of Gonzaga. The question is, who is Robert Sacre and what does he bring to Los Angeles?
Robert Sacre is a 23-year-old center from Gonzaga University. The big man stands at 7'0" tall and 260 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan.
After moving to North Vancouver, British Columbia, Sacre proceeded to become one of Canada's most sought-after prospects. Sacre led his high school, Handsworth Secondary School, to their provincial championship, which is Canada's version of a state title game.
Sacre was the MVP of the game, putting up 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. That set the pace for a senior season in which he averaged 25 points, 12 boards and four swats.
While in college, Sacre attended Gonzaga University, which is located in Spokane, Washington. The big man spent five years at the school after being sidelined with a foot injury during his sophomore year in 2008-09.
In that time, Sacre appeared in 137 games. He played the role of interior enforcer, which helped the team reach the NCAA tournament in every year that he attended. Sacre also helped lead the 2011 Zags to a Western Coast Conference tournament championship.
They lost in the WCC tournament Final this past season in an overtime thriller against Saint Mary's.
All in all, Sacre is from a school where winning is a tradition. The Zags were a combined 131-38 while he attended, which equates to an average win-loss record of 26-8.
His familiarity with the west coast and expectation for success should make him a perfect fit with the Los Angeles Lakers.
What He Brings to the Lakers
Over his final three years at the school, he averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 offensive rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 25.8 minutes of action. He shot the ball 51 percent from the field and 74.3 percent from the charity stripe, which shows how reliable he is from the line.
That number is especially impressive considering he averaged 5.5 free throws per contest.
This offers great insight into what Sacre will be able to provide for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is ferocious on the offensive glass, a shot alterer on the defensive end and a consistent scorer from the free throw line.
Consider him to be an underwhelming Dwight Howard that can actually shoot the basketball.
Truthfully, what will set Sacre apart from most young bigs is that he is a pure seven-footer. His size and length in the paint is extraordinary, which almost makes up for his need for a drastic improvement in terms of strength and muscle.
He's an excellent shot blocker, consistent interior scorer and a very good offensive rebounder. Between him and Jordan Hill, it appears as if the Lakers could have their second unit frontcourt of the future.
Should Sacre ever develop a greater feel for the fundamentals, however, we could see a star in the making.
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