Lakers News: Latest Buzz Surrounding 2021 NBA Draft Plans

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 12, 2021

Virginia's Trey Murphy III (25) heads back down court after scoring during the second half of Virginia's 64-57 victory over North Carolina State in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)
Ethan Hyman/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have only one pick in the 2021 NBA draft. So they are going to be looking to add an impact player to their roster with the No. 22 overall selection.

Who will the Lakers draft? That's not clear. But there is buzz regarding the prospects Los Angeles is taking a look at as the draft, which is set for July 29, gets closer.

On Saturday, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times shared a list of six players who worked out for the Lakers over the weekend: Oklahoma shooting guard Austin Reaves, Virginia shooting guard Trey Murphy III, Stanford power forward Oscar da Silva, VCU point guard Nah'Shon Hyland, Michigan small forward Chaundee Brown and NC State power forward DJ Funderburk.

In most mocks, Murphy and Hyland are projected to get taken late in the first round, making it possible that either could end up being a fit with the Lakers.

Wherever Murphy ends up, he's motivated to build off the success he had during his three college seasons (two at Rice before he transferred to Virginia).

"It's up to your effort and energy, and I'm going to learn to make my adjustments, but over time, I want to become an All-Star," Murphy said after his Lakers workout. "I want to be really good at the game of basketball. I want to win a lot and play for a long time."

Hyland improved his stock with a strong showing at the NBA draft combine in June.

During his workout with the Lakers, Hyland thought that he fared well again.

"I felt I showed a whole lot, my offensive skills at a high level, shooting the ball, just everything," Hyland said, per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. "I feel like I showed a lot. But the workout was great, for sure."

Although those six prospects were the ones who worked out for the Lakers on Saturday, it's possible none of them will go to Los Angeles at No. 22. Plenty can change between now and the draft.

Other players have also worked out for the Lakers. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, the team brought in Illinois power forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili on Wednesday. Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert and Utah State center Neemias Queta are among the other prospects who have told reporters they have talked to the Lakers in recent weeks.

Recent mock drafts have had Los Angeles taking other prospects, though. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projects LSU guard Cameron Thomas to go to the Lakers. The Athletic's Zach Harper, meanwhile, has Los Angeles taking Auburn guard Sharife Cooper.

Ahead of July 29, there's sure to be plenty more buzz surrounding the Lakers' plans.