With the NBA Draft now just over two weeks away, the rumors are starting to heat up.
The Los Angeles Lakers currently only have one pick in the upcoming draft at seventh overall, though they’re reportedly trying to trade the selection.
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, the Lakers “keep shopping” their pick, though they’re “struggling to find an All-Star caliber big in return.”
As Ford points out, if the Cavaliers are unable to land such a player in exchange for the first overall pick, there’s little chance of the purple and gold finding an impact big for the seventh overall selection.
So, unless something changes between now and draft night, it appears that the Lakers will hang onto their pick, and according to Ford, the team have three players on their radar: Julius Randle, Marcus Smart and Doug McDermott.
According to Ford, the Lakers have their eye on these three players as they’re the most likely prospects in their range to succeed in the Association straight away.
Randle, who made it all the way to the NCAA Finals during his one year with Kentucky, averaged 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game last season.
At 20-years-old, Smart has experience on his side: Despite being a projected lottery pick last summer, Smart decided to return to Oklahoma State for one more season, averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game during his sophomore year.
However, McDermott took it a step further by playing for four years at Creighton University. During his senior season, the 22-year-old averaged a nation-leading 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 33.7 minutes per game. He also shot 44 percent from downtown.
Ford also states that the Lakers “loved” McDermott’s workout in L.A., and they know he could be an impact player in the league straight away thanks to his ability to shoot the basketball from deep.