With the 2010 NBA Draft drawing near, the Los Angeles Lakers are turning their heads toward the dozens of prospects in this year's pool of young players.
With the 43rd and 58th overall picks in this year's NBA Draft, the Lakers are looking to add a reserve player who will make the roster next season.
The primary motivation of the Lakers front office is to fill out the rest of the roster with young but inexpensive players who will have a limited financial impact on the team's next luxury tax bill.
High on the Lakers' list are Cal's Jerome Randle (PG), Duke's Brian Zoubek (C), and Notre Dame's Luke Harangody (PF).
The Lakers see Luke Harangody as a hard worker and physical player whose work ethic and presence in the post would be a welcome addition to the champion Lakers.
Likewise, the Lakers view Duke center Brian Zoubek as a player who will defend the paint, gobble up defensive rebounds, and utilize his great length to challenge opposing offenses.
However, the player the Lakers seem most enamored with is California's Jerome Randle, a speedy but undersized point guard who carried the California Golden Bears to its first Pac-10 championship in 50 years. They feel that the Chicago-born point guard can ignite the second unit's offense and contribute to the team in the same manner as an Aaron Brooks or Darren Collison.
Jerome Randle's discipline and hard work on the court has caught the attention of several NBA teams, who see the Pac-10 player of the year as a potential draft sleeper. However, Randle's lack of size has made most teams, including the Lakers, hesitant to spend a draft pick on the lightning fast point guard.
Nevertheless, Randle's devotion to improving his already flawless shooting technique has paid off, and the Cal point guard has seen his draft stock rise from going undrafted to being selected late in the second round.
Jerome Randle's approach to shooting is the kind of detail oriented fanaticism that would make the most ardent baseball player smile. While elite hitters may spend hours studying and fine tuning their swings, so has the diminutive guard spent long days in the gym tinkering with his lightning quick release in hopes of shaving an extra fraction of a second off his shot, or adding an additional inch to his seemingly limitless range.
Shoulder the Lakers decide to select a point guard with one of their picks, don't be surprised if Cal's Randle has his named called out.