Lakers Draft Rumors: LA 'Super Infatuated' with 1st-Round Prospect Zhaire Smith

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

NBA draft prospect Zhaire Smith, right, from Texas Tech, smiles during a media availability after an NBA pre-draft basketball workout Monday, June 11, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly all-in on adding a new wing to their roster—and no, it's not LeBron James (yet).

Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype reported the Lakers are "super infatuated" with Texas Tech swingman Zhaire Smith, one of the fastest-rising names in the 2018 NBA draft. The Lakers have the No. 25 pick and would have to trade up to land Smith, a potential lottery selection.

Smith averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds as a freshman. He's considered one of the top prospects in the class, gifted with elite athleticism and finishing ability near the rim. Provided he develops any sort of offensive game, Smith could be one of the draft's biggest sleepers.

The Lakers will have to part with one of their young players to make a move up in the draft. Kalbrosky points out that Josh Hart, a first-round pick a year ago, could be the fall guy. Hart had a solid rookie season and projects as a good floor spacer but does not have Smith's ceiling.

That said, it's draft season, so there are smokescreens everywhere. This could be a situation where agents are leaking something to make sure they get a promise in the lottery.

Either way, Smith is a name to watch next Thursday. 

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