Darius Garland Says It'd Be an Honor to Play for Lakers Ahead of 2019 NBA Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland plays against Alcorn State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland said Friday it'd be an "honor" to get selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019 NBA draft on June 20.

"It would be an honor to play with Laker Nation," Garland said during an appearance on ESPN's The Jump with Rachel Nichols.

The 19-year-old Indiana native made just five appearances during his freshman campaign with the Commodores before suffering a season-ending meniscus injury. He announced his intention to leave Vandy to enter the draft in January.

"It was a really hard to decision from sitting down with my family," Garland told Evan Daniels of 247Sports. "I talked to coach [Bryce] Drew and the coaching staff and it was the best fit for me because of where I'm placed right now is really unbelievable especially coming off the injury.

"Just having a chance to play in the league, which I've been dreaming about that since I can remember, playing in the NBA, just having that chance I couldn't turn that down."

Although Garland didn't play much college ball, his talent was still evident. He averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 53.7 percent from the field, including 47.8 percent on threes.

If the Lakers, who own the fourth overall pick in the draft, do select Garland, it would likely fuel further speculation Lonzo Ball could become part of trade offers during the offseason as they search for more star power to play alongside LeBron James.