Widely Projected Targets: Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle
The Dark Horse: Rodney Hood, Duke SF (6'8")
A few months ago, Rodney Hood was viewed by many as a top-10 caliber pick. While that type of hype has cooled off, there's a chance he may end up in that range after all.
Fortune didn't favor the Los Angeles Lakers during the lottery, so they won't have a chance at one of the draft's biggest treasures. Now, instead of swinging and missing on a prospect based on upside, Mitch Kupchak and Co. could take a productive, safe pick and fill a huge need.
Enter Rodney Hood at the small forward position, where he would give the Purple and Gold better shooting and playmaking than they've seen the past couple of years. The Duke transfer shot 42 percent from three-land in 2013-14 and helped the Blue Devils offense run smoothly.
He's not a superstar target for L.A., but he'd be a rock-solid piece for the rebuilding effort as he works with and without the ball. According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, "Hood has piqued the interest of several teams, including the Lakers (No. 7 pick) and Hornets (No. 9)."
When you examine the top wings in the draft based on size, skill and known value, you won't find many, if any, better than Hood.