Byron Scott: Lakers Had ‘Serious Discussion’ About Drafting Kristaps Porzingis

Byron Scott: Lakers Had ‘Serious Discussion’ About Drafting Kristaps Porzingis

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There was plenty of buzz surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers and their coveted second pick in last year’s NBA Draft. The Lakers surprised many by taking Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell instead of Duke center Jahlil Okafor, who was thought to be the ‘safer pick.’

However, both wound up being outplayed this season by fourth overall selection Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks. In an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, former Lakers head coach Byron Scott revealed that the Lakers strongly considered taking Porzingis second overall, as transcribed by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Scott noted that the Lakers thought it would take Porzingis multiple years before he became an impact player which aided in their decision to take Russell. Scott, however, did stop short of saying the Lakers would change anything about the 2015 NBA Draft, via Winters:

Porzingis had an excellent rookie season, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting and being a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie First Team. Russell wasn’t quite as successful, finishing ninth in Rookie of the Year while being a Second Team All-Rookie selection.

Despite an up-and-down rookie season, the Lakers remain high on Russell’s potential heading into his second season. Russell showed flashes of how good he could be at different times this season, and improving his consistency could lead to a huge jump for Russell in year two.

Although the Lakers brass find themselves with another second overall pick, the situation surrounding this year’s draft hardly leaves them in similar waters. There was no doubt that Karl-Anthony Towns was the clear-cut number one pick in last year’s draft. This year however, the top two picks are seemingly interchangeable between Ben Simmons and Brandom Ingram, leaving the Lakers in a prime position to bolster the roster before next year.