The Los Angeles Lakers will have a tough decision to make once they are on the clock during the 2014 NBA draft next week. Plenty of talented prospects will likely be available for the Lakers at No. 7 possibly including Kansas center Joel Embiid.
With Embiid undergoing successful surgery on his injured right foot on Friday, the center will need four to six months to recovery, but the Lakers won’t rule out taking him if he falls to them in the draft, according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
It could depend on Kansas center Joel Embiid, who will likely drop as the top pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers because he will need surgery to treat a stress fracture in his right foot. The Lakers would consider selecting Embiid should he become available, according to a person familiar with the Lakers’ thinking. But such an idea would hinge on Embiid’s recovery.
The last time the Lakers had a lottery pick, it was back in 2005. The storied franchise rolled the dice on a seven-footer out of high school in Andrew Bynum. Los Angeles was able to land Bynum with the 10th pick in the draft and as a result, brought in a talented center with enormous potential to become the next great Lakers center.
Unfortunately, even though Bynum helped the Lakers win two titles, the center dealt with persistent knee injuries that ultimately led to the Lakers deciding to trade him in the summer of 2012. Los Angeles acquired Dwight Howard in a four-team blockbuster trade sending Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Not only did Bynum never pan out the way the team had hoped, but the Lakers have dealt with seemingly endless injuries over the last two seasons. That being said, the team gambling on another potentially injury-prone center seems like an unnecessary risk.
Other notable players that could potentially be available for the Lakers at No. 7 are Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Aaron Gordon (Arizona), Julius Randle (Kentucky), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Noah Vonleh (Indiana). All of these players mentioned have worked out for the Lakers along with Nik Stauskas (Michigan) and P.J. Hairston (North Carolina).
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