Lakers Draft 2015
And there goes all the mock drafts and pre-analysis of the lakers draft 2015. While everyone expected the Lakers to select Jahlil Okafor as the Lakers draft 2015 No.2 pick in this year’s draft, Los Angeles went a different route and selected point guard D’Angelo Russel. Considering they already have point guard Jordan Clarkson who looked superb in the final month of the year, what does the pick means for the future of the franchise? Let’s take a look at some of the questions that are popping out from the Lakers draft 2015.
Is Russell that good?
Considering the Lakers used the highest pick they have had since 1982 on him, he must be darn special. The last time the Lakers drafted a point guard this high (1979), he went on to win 5 titles for the franchise. Russell won the Jerry West Award, and averaged more points than any other freshman in the NCAA. Some of Russell’s strengths are: excellent passer, makes free throws, has the size advantage for point guard, great rebounder, decent 3-pt shooter and is a ball-hawking defender. To put it simply, Russell is an excellent choice for a modern type point guard. He can pass, make free throws and shoot the 3. He can also play shooting guard next to another point guard, which would allow teams to place two ball handlers on the floor. His game is very similar to the one of Brandon Roy. Last season he averaged 19.3 points, 5 assists and 5.7 rebounds, shooting 45% from the floor and 41% from behind the arc. The Lakers, according to coach Byron Scott were mostly impressed by his leadership ability and his ability to make others around him better.
What does this mean for Jordan Clarkson?
It is hard to envision the Lakers playing Russell and Clarkson together, even though Russell can handle playing shooting guard. However, the SG spot is reserved for Kobe Bryant. Kobe and D’Angelo can be a great back court combo, as both can handle ball handling duties and shoot the ball. The more likely scenario is that Clarkson might get traded so the Lakers can plug other holes in their rotation.
Lakers confident they can get a big man via trade/free agency
Drafting a point guard when a big man like Jahlil Okafor is available shows that the Lakers are pretty confident they can get a big man via other channels. The Lakers were already players in the DeMarcus Cousins sweepstakes, and after the draft, the rumors will heat up. The Kings selected Willie Cauley-Stein with their 6th pick, a center from Kentucky. Their pick might suggest they are ready to part ways with Cousins. The Lakers will also try to pry Marc Gasol from Memphis although reports say he has no desire to play in Los Anglese. There will be other options for center, as the Lakers might decide and sign some of the second tier centers such as Tyson Chandler.
The other Lakers draft 2015 pick
With the 34th pick, the Lakers selected Anthony Brown, a small forward from Stanford. Brown will bring more shooting to the Lakers, as he shot 44% from 3-pt range in college. He can also get to the rim, is a willing passer and a great re-bounder for his position. He is 23 years old, and he might be one of the more NBA ready players in the draft. He is a 5 year senior, and will immediately fill in a void for the Lakers. The only downside is that he needs to add some bulk to be able to play small forward or power forward in small lineups. And he should work on his consistency. There is not much upside here, as he is already 23 years old, but he can be a solid role player for years to come.
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