Lakers News: Breaking Down Experts' Latest Projections for LA's Draft
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Having just one pick in the middle of the second round doesn't always mean a team can't improve through the draft.
The Los Angeles Lakers will once again be hoping the same holds true for them in 2013.
It's been quite a while since Los Angeles has actually used a first-round pick.
In 2009, the organization selected Toney Douglas at No. 29 overall but traded him to the New York Knicks. Other than that, you have to go back to 2007 to find its last first-round selection, as it grabbed Gilbert Arenas' future archnemesis, Javaris Crittenton, with the No. 19 pick.
Since then, it's been a whole lot of second-round mediocrity.
Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock have made decent impacts for where they were selected, but Sun Yue, Joe Crawford, Chinemelu Elonu and others haven't worked out.
Nevertheless, with the No. 48 pick in a draft with solid depth, the Lakers have a chance to find a contributor.
Let's take a look at who's on their radar, according to the experts' most recent mock drafts.
Jonathan Givony, Draft Express: Deshaun Thomas, SF/PF, Ohio State
Deshaun Thomas is an interesting prospect.
At Ohio State, he was one of the most dangerous scorers in America, averaging 19.8 points on 44.4 percent shooting.
However, his lack of efficiency (his 1.10 points per weighted shot ranked 620th in the country), ideal size (6'7" with a 6'10" wingspan) and athleticism have many questioning if he can translate to the next level.
Still, there are plenty of things he can do well, most notably on the offensive end. He's an experienced 4 who can stretch defenses with a deadly shooting stroke. He can face the basket and score off the dribble, albeit sometimes in unconventional ways. He's effective at aggressively crashing the offensive glass and getting tip-ins.
However, while he can be a solid second-unit scorer and his experience makes him a candidate to contribute right away, something the Lakers desire, his lack of defensive ability or athleticism would make this a questionable choice.
Hoopsworld: Lorenzo Brown, PG, North Carolina State
Lorenzo Brown being let loose in Mike D'Antoni's offense is a tantalizing thought.
At NC State, where the Wolfpack averaged a breakneck 70.0 possessions per 40 minutes, Brown was the conductor—and he thrived in the role.
When the pace quickened and NC State was able to get in transition, Brown proved to be dynamic, showcasing the ability to get to the hoop and finish or find an open teammate with his excellent floor vision.
Although he didn't have a great year shooting the ball, he averaged 7.2 assists per contest, which was fifth-most in the country.
Throw in his unique size (6'5" with a 6'7" wingspan), ability on defense (2.0 steals per game), athleticism and playmaking ability off the pick-and-roll, and this would be an ideal selection for the Lakers, who are in need of a point guard.
Matt Moore and Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: Phil Pressey, PG, Missouri
Although Phil Pressey is six inches shorter, he would likely make a similar impact to Brown as an annoying defender and elite distributor.
Pressey was inconsistent last season with Missouri, but he still averaged 1.8 steals and 7.1 assists per contest.
Whom would you most like to see the Lakers draft?
The latter is the aspect of his game that's most impressive.
There are a lot of talented point guards in this draft, but when it comes to strictly passing, Pressey is at the absolute summit.
The son of former NBA player Paul Pressey, "Flip" has a mix of court vision and fearlessness to make any pass that is unrivaled. It sometimes results in inconsistency or turnovers (3.6 per game), but more often than not, it equals some jaw-dropping assists.
He would make for a dangerous weapon in D'Antoni's pick-and-roll.
Advanced stats courtesy of Basketball State.
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