It would seem the Los Angeles Lakers will have their choice between Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Kentucky's Julius Randle with the No. 7 pick.
According to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, the Purple and Gold have had Smart in for a second workout, which usually indicates a heightened interest.
In Chad Ford of ESPN.com's latest mock draft, he has Smart landing in Los Angeles as well. It's a perfect fit. Smart is known for his competitiveness and drive to succeed. Those intangibles, coupled with his on-court versatility make him the ideal player to learn from Kobe Bryant and take the torch once the Black Mamba is ready to hang up his sneakers.
According to Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe, one Eastern Conference scout said, "He just has every intangible you’d ever want."
The only potential blemish on Smart's reputation is his run-in with an unruly fan as a sophomore this past season. As expected, teams asked him about the situation. Here's how Smart summed up his answers to inquisitive general managers:
I told them that’s something that happened that’s in the past. I’m not proud of it. But I’m trying to move on from that. I’ve got bigger and better things I’m looking forward to in my life. If I’m too busy looking in the past, how can I see what’s in front of me with the future?
That future may very well be alongside Bryant in the Lakers' backcourt. No one in L.A. should be surprised if the Lake Show makes Smart their selection.
Randle was also reportedly impressive in his workout with the Lakers. The decision could and should come down to which player best fits the team's future. Bigs are hard to come by, but so are natural-born leaders.
Don't Bet on Doug McDermott Being a Laker
Per Ford, the Lakers have unsuccessfully tried to get the Creighton star in for a workout.
Perhaps McDermott's camp knows the Lakers aren't seriously interested in drafting him at No. 7, thus the workout could be pointless. At this stage of the process, senseless workouts can do more harm than good.
Kansas' Joel Embiid suffered a foot injury in his workout, and he's almost certain to fall at least four spots in the first round. A player could simply perform poorly as well.
As news of that performance spreads, it could negatively impact a prospect's stock. In other words, McDermott is smart to avoid auditioning for a part he likely has no chance of landing.
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