The Los Angeles Lakers are targeting upcoming rookies Julius Randle, Marcus Smart and McDermott, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
ESPN: The Lakers keep shopping this pick but are struggling to find an All-Star caliber big in return. If the Cavs can’t get that type of player with the No. 1 overall pick, the Lakers are probably not getting it at pick No. 7. If the Lakers keep it, they’ll want a player who can come in and contribute from Day 1, and three players — Randle, Smart and Doug McDermott — seem to be the targets.
Julius Randle dominated as a freshman at Kentucky. Randle averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He led his team in points and rebounds per game. Randle was the SEC Freshman of the Year, and was also selected to the All-SEC First Team and All-SEC Freshman Team. He set UK single-season freshman records in rebounds, double-doubles and made free-throws. According to Lakers.com, Randle finished fifth in the three quarter sprint (3.27 seconds) and sixth in max vertical leap (35.5 inches) among all the NBA Draft Combine’s power forwards/centers.
Marcus Smart tied an Oklahoma State single-game scoring record after dropping 39 points against Memphis. Smart was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team twice. He also won the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award, Big 12 Conference Player of the Year award, and made the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Last but not least, Smart holds the Big 12 single-season steals record for a freshman, with 99 total steals. Smart’s lane agility time of 10.82 is quicker than John Wall (10.84), Russell Westbrook (10.98) and Chris Paul (11.09), according to ESPN. He also bench pressed 185 pounds 19 times, which is one of the best ever among point guards historically, according to Draft Express.
Doug McDermott led the nation in scoring as a senior, and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history with 3,150 points. McDermott was the national player of the year, and was also the first player in almost three decades to be named to the AP All-America team three times. According to Lakers.com, McDermott ranked second in lane agility time (11.10 seconds), eighth in shuttle run (3.15 seconds), seventh in three quarter sprint (3.29 seconds) and fifth in max vertical leap (36.5 inches) among all the NBA Draft Combine small forwards.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they will have a great list of prospects to select from. The 2014 NBA Draft is expected to be one of the deepest drafts in basketball history.