Lakers 2018 NBA Draft Rumors: Mitchell Robinson Receives a 'Promise' from LA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 29: Mitchell Robinson #22 of the boys east team  dunks the ball during the 2017 McDonalds's All American Game on March 29, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The West Team won 109-107. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have their eyes on big man Mitchell Robinson with the 2018 NBA draft approaching June 21 and went as far as to make him a promise.

Aran Smith of NBADraft.net reported the news and projected the Lakers to select Robinson with the No. 25 overall pick.

"The second rumored promise that we have heard coming out of the Chicago predraft camp is that the Lakers have promised Mitchell Robinson, which could explain his decision not to participate in predraft activities," Smith wrote.

According to Smith, the other sourced promise was that the Chicago Bulls would draft Chandler Hutchison at No. 22.

As for Robinson, the 20-year-old turned heads when he decided not to play college basketball two different times after committing to Western Kentucky.

"The lifetime goal of mine is to play in the NBA and I feel like forgoing my year of college and going straight to work on a day-to-day basis will help prepare me, so I can focus just on basketball and maturing," the 7-footer said in September, per Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

Robinson was an impressive high school player who earned invites to the McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand All-American games. He was a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 center in the recruiting class of 2017, per 247Sports' composite rankings, but Western Kentucky never had the chance to feature him at the collegiate level.

The Lakers have young building blocks at different positions with Lonzo Ball at point guard, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma as versatile forwards who can handle the ball, and Julius Randle as a solid power forward, but they don't have any dominant young rim protectors who can control the boards and consistently handle some of the league's best centers.

Robinson could in theory fill that role and develop alongside some of Los Angeles' other young players if the Lakers do pick him in the draft.