The Los Angeles Lakers received a consolation prize for their disastrous season—the No. 7 overall pick. It’s unfamiliar territory for a team that typically drafts late in the second round.
With a completely depleted roster, the Lakers will be paying close attention long after they make their one, and only, selection. Those who fall completely off the boards are scrutinized carefully by all 30 NBA teams, of course.
Some rookie free agents will get summer league invites, others will head overseas, and many will drift out of basketball altogether.
Last summer, the Lakers were impressed by the hustle of Elias Harris, a 6’8” forward from Gonzaga who hadn't been selected in the draft. A native of Germany, he earned an unguaranteed rookie contract but appeared in just two games before being waived.
Nick Minnerath, a wild card from Cape Cod, also received a camp invite but turned LA down, choosing instead to play for Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish ACB League.
And who can forget Slava Medvedenko, the undrafted power forward from the Ukraine who signed with the Lakers in 2000, often ignoring the rules of the triangle offense yet lasting six seasons nonetheless and picking up two rings in the process.
The Lakers will be back at it again this summer, picking through the leftovers and hoping for a gem. The following are five players with uncertain fates in this year’s draft—one that is particularly deep and interesting.