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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Which Power Forward Should The Lakers Draft? Reviewed by Momizat on . Please enable Javascript to watch this video The Lakers have holes everywhere on their roster, but the frontcourt is arguably the team's biggest need that must Please enable Javascript to watch this video The Lakers have holes everywhere on their roster, but the frontcourt is arguably the team's biggest need that must Rating: 0
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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Which Power Forward Should The Lakers Draft?

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The Lakers have holes everywhere on their roster, but the frontcourt is arguably the team’s biggest need that must be addressed this off-season. Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman are all unrestricted free agents and all could leave the team this summer.

As of right now, Robert Sacre is the only big man on the roster, and Ryan Kelly is likely to be brought back on a cheap contract, but both of those players are probably better off in reserve roles.

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This draft offers a number of possibilities to fill a frontcourt need, particularly at the power forward position.

Julius Randle is NBA-ready, and had the most double-doubles in college basketball last season. Aaron Gordon is one of the best athletes in the draft and could be a defensive menace from day one. Noah Vonleh is raw, but has arguably the highest ceiling of any prospect outside the top-3.

Add in intriguing prospects like Croatian Dario Saric who reminds many of Lamar Odom, and Doug McDermott, one of the best scorers in college basketball history, and there are a number of ways the Lakers can go.

So we asked our panel of experts, which power forward should the Lakers draft? This is what they had to say:

Kevin Chan (@kevin_cruiser): I would love for the Lakers to draft Julius Randle in the draft as he is perfect for the small-ball lineups that are becoming increasingly popular in the NBA.

Randle has great strength and bulk weighing in at 250 pounds. It would behoove him to put additional work in the weight room to trim some fat and add muscle. He has a great frame and once he replaces his fat with muscle, he could conceivably play around 265 pounds.

At his size, he also possesses great quickness. Randle will be able to beat most power forward defenders off the dribble and his quickness also helps him stay with smaller players on defense. However, he’s a bit undisciplined and isn’t considered an elite defender at this stage. He has much to learn in that department.

Julius already has a decent post-game and gets most of his points on the block. He needs to continue to develop his jump shot which is inconsistent at this point, but one can imagine Randle contributing 15-20 points per night at some point in his career. He’s also a great rebounder already and led Kentucky with 10.4 rebounds per game.

Additionally Randle was seen sporting Kobe Nines throughout the NCAA tourney. So I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing with and learning from Kobe.

Russell Valenzuela (@russval4): While Julius Randle may be the most NBA-ready available prospect, Noah Vonleh boasts tremendous upside and potential.

Randle had greater exposure as his Kentucky team went to the national title game while Indiana and Vonleh failed to survive the first round of the Big 10 Tournament. As such, there is a higher familiarity with Randle’s game.

On the court, Randle’s production even outshines Vonleh’s as the Kentucky product put up more points and rebounds per game than Vonleh. A key area where Vonleh bettered Randle was in the shot blocking department.

One of the reasons, scouts are in love in Vonleh is his 7’4” wingspan. With such length, it is natural for Vonleh to alter more shots. He is also quick on his feet and reacts really well when defending in the post making him one of the better defensive players available.

Although his shot is far from perfect and needs to improve, Vonleh is also better than Randle at shooting outside shots. Both can play down low, but what sets Vonleh apart is the ability to stretch defenses more effectively.

The rest of Vonleh’s offensive game is pretty raw. His footwork needs improvement, and he needs to develop better post moves. He has all the tools to become one of the top power forwards in the NBA in a couple years since his game is pretty versatile.

As the Lakers continue to rebuild, reaching Vonleh’s high ceiling will become more beneficial for the team.

Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): Over the last couple of weeks, Aaron Gordon has really grown on me. He strikes me as someone who will work as hard as possible to be the best, and that is something you can’t teach.

However, I have been on the Julius Randle bandwagon for quite some time now and nothing has happened to sway me yet.

Randle has been a top-5 prospect this entire year, and quite frankly, the only reason he looks like he is dropping to the Lakers is because the two teams in front of the Lakers, the Jazz and Celtics, each have good young players at the power forward position.

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Randle already has an advanced post game, and while he didn’t get much of a chance to show it at Kentucky, he has the ability to consistently knock down the 15-footer. He also has an excellent motor, and averaged over 10 rebounds per game, which is a stat that translates very well to the next level.

He needs some work defensively, but Randle should be a contributor the second he steps on the floor. I believe he will end up being some combination of Zach Randolph and David Lee and that is someone I want on my team every night.

Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): If Julius Randle is still available at No. 7, a strong case can be made for the Los Angeles Lakers to draft the Kentucky product, but I believe the team should go with Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

Gordon may not be on the same level talent wise as some of the other freshman coming out of college like Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, but he’s definitely got the potential to be something special.

A comparison could be made to a young Blake Griffin. Athletic with all sorts of potential, but definitely needs to work on parts of his game to be a force in the NBA. Gordon needs polish and he may ultimately prove to be a bust on the NBA level, but his drive and athleticism might be enough to convince GM Mitch Kupchak and company to roll the dice on the 18-year-old out of Arizona.

There’s a very good chance Gordon falls to the Lakers at No. 7. Other promising draft prospects might also be there at No. 7 like Noah Vonleh (Indiana) and Randle (Kentucky), but Randle might be the best option.
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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 690
  • LakersHeatBeef

    Julius Randle is 6’7.75″ without shoes and 6’9 with shoes and he weighs 250 pounds and he has a no step vert if 29 and a max vert of 35.5 with a 7’0″ foot wingspan his standing reach is 8’9 5″ also body fat is at 9.4.Those numbers are decent they don’t scare me off him not much concern actually.

    Noah Vonleh 6’8″ without shoes and 6’9.5″ with shoes. weighs 247 pounds. no step vert 31 and max vert 37. 7’4″ wingspan with standing reach of 9’0″ feet tall.7.3 body fat.These are more impressive draft combine numbers than Julius Randle.Most impressive is the 7’4″ wingspan and the 9’0″ feet standing reach that is crucial for blocking shots and rebounding over smaller players also it is a huge factor in changing peoples shots in the paint major plus for Vonleh.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    NBA Draft 2014: Orlando Magic to host workouts for Julius Randle, four others
    By Evan Dunlap  @BQRMagic on Jun 4 2014, 5:00p

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Noah Vonleh draft combine measurements compare closely to Anthony Davis.Noah is about 30 pounds heavier though.

  • Jose

    I honestly think the Lakers draft board looks like this Marcus Smart,Noah Vonleh,Julius Randle,Aaron Gordon,Zach Lavine.

    • Chrmngblly

      I seriously doubt Smart is near that high—maybe he is last on that list with Randle right in front of him. I think the Lakers really want to trade down badly and pick up Lavine and some Euro-big.

      • Jose

        What everyone cooled down on Marcus Smart since he bricked some shots in some viral video that this very website blew up on You Tube???

      • Jose

        I think the Lakers are willing to draft Marcus Smart actually.But i would want to see Zach Lavine prove he can be a major star before proclaiming him one like many UCLA homers have already.But i prefer Dante Exum above all the point guards but he will drafted ahead of our #7 spot.

        • Chrmngblly

          We all prefer Embiid, too.
          We just need bigs so bad and we only have one pick. I think we will trade down. Smart will not be our only pick. That would be a disaster. Someone else will take him before our number two pick, even if we make a trade.

          • Jose

            “We’d still like to add to our draft selection. Could we move this pick and get multiple picks? Maybe. Could you buy a pick? Or trade a future pick for a present pick? Yeah, that’s possible. I think picks now are more valuable than they were, so I think it’s not as easy as it used to be, but I think that’s still a possibility.”

            Quotes from Mitch Kupchak.We might buy a pick or two and we might trade a future pick for a current pick.

          • Chrmngblly

            OK. So you agree with me. Smart is too good to be around for our second pick.

          • Jose

            Wait did we already trade our lottery pick for lower picks?

          • Chrmngblly

            No, but you don’t really want to take Smart for our ONLY pick, do you? Not when we need bigs so bad. If we don’t trade, we will take Vonleh or Gordon. If we do trade, Smart will be long gone by the time we pick our second pick. See?

          • Jose

            As long as they get a point guard other than old man Nash and Non shooting passive slow Kendall Marshall.Yes i mentioned Noah Vonleh as the number 2 guy on their probable draft board.Marcus Smart will be a star player despite the hate he gets from fans.

          • Chrmngblly

            OK. I wouldn’t mind another point guard, either, but I suggest a combo-guard like Lavine. We do have Bazemore, too, you know. Pay attention to Marshall this year. I predict you will change your opinion of him. He gets OTHERS their shots.

          • Monty

            I think the Lakers might trade him for a 2014 pick.Asset.

          • Chrmngblly

            I don’t think he has proven enough to trade for a pick yet. But once he has, we will not want to let him go.

            These rookies take 2-3 years to develop, usually.

          • VillainKing

            Hey Chrmgblly Fuck You!!!

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            But he is unathletic and poor on defense. We need to be able to pressure the ball and get into passing lanes. I love Smarts defense, and his ability to haul ass and get to the bucket on breaks. We haven’t had that in a long, long time.

          • Chrmngblly

            Did you forget free agency? There are way more quality guards available. If you want a guard, let’s get Lowrey or get nobody and use Bazemore for speed and D. I just don’t see how to address the team’s greatest need and also get Smart.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Bazemore is not nearly the defender Smart is, not even close. I’d be okay with signing Lowry and drafting Gordon, but I love the idea of Smart at the point. I love Gordon and Smart both for their passion for the game. Just something you can’t teach.

          • Chrmngblly

            I do hear you. I just have other preferences if we only get one pick. Life is a bitch…:-)

          • VillainKing

            Finally you got the correct spelling of Vonleh Chrmngblly!!!heheheheh..Lakers will select Smart!!

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Did you forget about free agency? There are a couple good names we can pursue in the next season or two.

          • Chrmngblly

            No, I didn’t forget about Free Agency. Not a bit. The names most mentioned are Monroe, Deng and Davis, who, at best, are only journeymen and want max money. I suggested doing a sign and trade of Pau Gasol together with Nash’s expiring contract to NY for Tyson Chandler, which only helps so much. Asik is also available for a price we can’t really pay.
            Maybe we should just bring Pau and Hill back and grab some European bigs after the draft is over. That is the other avenue, but that’s a pig in a poke.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Deng is a solid wing defender, but not my idea of a big man. The names I like the most are 2015 free agents. Asik (UFA), Marc Gasol (UFA), Lamarcus Aldridge (UFA I think). I don’t like Euro bigs much. Most have a style of play I just don’t enjoy watching. I’m a fan of shot blockers, and back to the basket post moves. (Shaq was my favorite player growing up). I get the game is changing, but I still like seeing that type of play down low.

          • Chrmngblly

            Yeah. Deng is no super-star and they say he has a lot of miles. At the right price, he is ok.

      • VillainKing

        No, Lakers will not trade the pick and they will draft Marcus Smart!!!

      • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

        I’m not sure what the fascination is with trading back. You give up selecting ONE great talent to pick up two mediocre ones instead? Unless we’re getting a 2015 first rounder in the package, I don’t like that idea. Even then, I’d scratch my head.

        • Chrmngblly

          I think Mitch’s idea is that there’s not much difference in players that fit our needs after the first 4 or 5 picks, so maybe we should just let somebody else who has a few later picks to trade get someone they want and let us get an extra pick.

          But I agree with you, depending on who is available. They might take Vonley or Gordon if either is available and trade down if not.

          I am always suspicious of “bruiser-type” players because at the NBA level the players are so much bigger and faster.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Depending on where you look, Smart is between 6’3″ and 6’4″ with 220-225lbs of pretty well built muscle. I get pros are bigger, stronger, and faster, but check out Smarts speed on scouting videos. Check out his combine numbers. The man is fast and he’s quick, and he’s built like a brick house (insert poor shot joke here).

            In the pros he will get stronger. Get him a coach who can break down his shooting mechanics, and a season mentored by Nash and you’re looking at one hell of a player.

          • Chrmngblly

            Maybe, but we only have one pick so far and we need a big.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            To be fair, we need everything other than SG, and even then it might not hurt to bring in a young SG to learn the ropes for the next couple seasons.

          • Chrmngblly

            We are in this ridicules spot because of Jim Buss.

            Check this out:

            http://thedailysportsheralddotblogspotdotcom/2014/03/jim-buss-timeline-and-decline-of-lakersdothtml

            Put a dot in where it says [dot].

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Loved that piece. Definitely shed some light on things I didn’t know about. I feel less confident about our future now, though.

          • Chrmngblly

            Yeah. It is bad news, to me. In all of Lakerland. only Buss kids are bosses. I get how the Doc was fond of his children, but his “Plan” is just a formula for mediocrity. So I am depressed. And still, Jeanie is not demanding final say in choosing a coach. That girl needs some balls.

    • VillainKing

      I agree on your draft board but my draft board is like this Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle and Zach Lavine!!

  • Monty

    How the hell did Julius Randle go from possibly the number 1 pick in the draft to like number 6 or 7 this is just not explainable especially after he carried his team to the championship game as a freshman.Randle was the top American high school player a year ago ranked number 1 in the best freshman class in a quarter century.

    • wangkon936

      Because his physical stats for an NBA power forward are below average.

      • Monty

        So 6’9″ in height and 250 pounds in weight and a 7 foot wingspan is not up to NBA standards these days?Yet Rashard Lewis and Splitter are the power forwards in the NBA Finals.Zach Randolph and David Lee are highly rated power forwards and they don’t measure that great either i don’t agree that Julius Randle is below average in measurements i think their is a place in the NBA for Julius.Karl Malone wasn’t that great with measurements either.But he is one of the greatest players ever.Sometimes measurement are silly because you can never measure the heart of a player.

        Now if he was like 6’4″ without shoes then i would have major concern but he was basically 6’8″ without shoes and 6’9″ with shoes.No concern for me at least.Charles Barkley would go undrafted with these new NBA measurement guidelines.

        • Badazztj12

          Splitter is a 7’0 foot C

          • Chrmngblly

            Shhhh. Don’t tell him….:-)

        • komaja

          Don’t worry Monty. The Lakers are smart enough to consider Julius Randle as their top pick. Quite simply, he’s a beast and I paid close to attention to his game in college. I guarantee people who think he’s not as good or even better than Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh are people who have never seen him play and are basing their opinions off the measurements he put up at the draft combine OR they’re just basing it off hearsay. It’s ridiculous how people can just put this guy aside because of measurements/numbers instead of looking at his skill level and talent. This guy is no joke and whichever team gets him, will be lucky. And NO, I’m not a Kentucky fan.

          My top PF picks if they’re still available at #7 are:
          1. Julius Randle
          2. Aaron Gordon
          3. Noah Vonleh (I used to have him at the 2 spot but one of his weaknesses is his basketball IQ. That’s a big turnoff for me if I was a GM).

          • Monty

            Julius Randle will be the best player in this draft.Laugh at me all you want Julius Randle doubters/haters but at the end of the day he is a beast no denying that.

            I had a field day watching all the great college hoops games every Saturday and Monday and man Julius Randle stood out as a elite player each time i watched him play.He did great all season long and he carried his team in the tournament plus all his high school accolades are thing of a legend.

            If Julius Randle really does slip to the Lakers because of measurements or whatever reason then i am buying everyone at the bar drinks and also popping a bottle of expensive Moet.6 teams can’t be that stupid to pass on someone as good as Julius.Most NBA ready player.

          • Tune

            Although I admit I haven’t looked as deep for the PFs as I have for the PGs, I’m personally at Gordon>Randle>Noah. Going off how they carry themselves I view Gordon as a very strong competitor. Noah to me didn’t carry himself in an intellectual way, no offense to him. When you see the great players like Jordan, Kobe, Larry, Hakeem, Kareem, Magic, and etc, they each had a very intelligent aspect to their personality.

        • Tune

          Difference is they aren’t the focal points of their team, only certain teams can work with a PF like that. I think Gordon can work like Griffin due to be an amazing athlete.

        • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

          So you want teams to draft a role player with their lottery pick instead of going after a potential franchise player? The examples you listed were exactly that.

          I haven’t seen Handle at #1 most of the season. It has always been between Parker and Wiggins, and Embiid came up quickly. After that, I’ve seen Randle in the mix with guys like Vonleh, Smart and Exum, all in that 4-7 range. Now Aaron Gordon is creeping closer and closer with the athleticism and mentality. Not sure where you got the idea Randle was a #1 and then all of a sudden wasn’t.

    • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

      I like too for Lakers… those who are enamored with the measurements should look twice… talent, heart, desire cannot be measured by any draft measurements… this is why my favorite players in the draft are Randle and Smart… they play like there is no tomorrow…that’s Kobe juice.

  • Ian

    Pick best available player or fill a hole? Unless Vonleh or Gordon is available.. It should be Stauskus (spell check), Exum or Lavine.

    • Chrmngblly

      I liked Lavine. I was surprised. I would rather have him over Smart, even though we will never have to make that choice. Vonleh or Gordon.

      • VillainKing

        I would rather have Smart over Lavine, Gordon and Vonleh!!

      • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

        Why are you so high on Lavine and so down on Smart? Lavine is basically just a guy who can jump high. That’s impressive, but I’ve yet to see anything come out that has him as much more than a gifted player athletically.

        • Chrmngblly

          I watched Lavine move. He was so fluid and so fast. I just think he would be an excellent prospect. High ceiling. That’s all.
          I watched Randle and Smart and I didn’t like ‘em. Plus the numbers.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            He’d be a great player to develop, for sure. Anyone who can get 46″ off the ground is intriguing. However, if I remember correctly, he isn’t all that skilled. I also haven’t read anything about his mentality. I love the fact that Smart and Gordon are INTENSE about basketball.

            Did you just watch the Lakers workout vids? Or others clips on the guys?

          • Chrmngblly

            I have been watching for a while. I love that Gordon is so versatile. If we could actually get Love—which I think is a pipe dream—Gordon could slide straight over to the 3. Gordon is another gym-rat-type. Few of these guys are total idiots in the lottery.

            I agree on Lavine.

    • Tune

      As of right now I’m feeling Exum>Gordon>Randle/Smart>Noah>Lavine.

    • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

      We have enough holes that “best available player” will fill one. We’re looking at PF and PG with the BPA at #7.

  • Victor

    Do the Lakers even need a Power Forward?Kevin Love is rumored to be coming via free agency in 2015 and Pau Gasol remains a option at power forward also Jordan Hill is still a option also Ryan Kelly is in development of becoming a better player next season.So switch the focus to point guard and lets try to get realistic here Marcus Smart is the best option at point guard if Dante Exum is gone.Steer clear of Zach Lavine he is not good on defense he will get lit up by opposing point guards.Damn the Lakers need to find a point guard i can’t stand it watching Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall getting destroyed by ever point guard and they suck offensively especially Marshall he can’t do shit,way too slow and bad on shooting and terrible on defense.Nash gets a pass he is just old and ready to retire.

    • Chrmngblly

      Everything you say is just based on emotion. Marshall shoots the 3-ball better in the pros than Smart does at college range. Did you know that? Marshall is a true pass-first point guard. He doesn’t take all the shots Smart does, so he scores less. Marshall won the Naismith (?) award in college as the best point guard because he is a great passer—which ESPN and others question in Smart. Smart can only pass to guys he can see in front of him.

      PLEASE LOOK THIS STUFF UP. I am not making it up. I loved that Marshall changed his game even in the half-year he was running the team. He cut down on 3′s and started putting up those little floaters from either elbow more.

      Please watch Marshall more closely. He is going to be very special. I predict it right here. He is like Nash–only a rookie.

      • Victor

        Our record was terrible when Kendall Marshall started games.Marshall just had open shots and missed them.Marshall is very slow and he is terrible on defense.I watched all the Lakers games and he really had a rough time in his last 30 games.

        Not athletic enough nor does he have the speed to blow by his opposition and he tends to get blocked easily.Marshall doesn’t draw hardly any fouls.He had a few scoreless games and our defense suffered more than ever with Marshall playing big minutes.Also Marshall looked confused at times.Turnover prone.

        I am just saying what is the truth.It was all a lost cause anyways the season was terrible 27-55 was the record,no good and we need a new point guard hell i will love Dante Exum to be the guy for us at point guard or even Marcus Smart or Elfrid Payton.They play defense and are athletic and quick they measure up.

        • Chrmngblly

          Tell me the numbers. Marshall shot 39.9 % from 3 for the Lakers last year, total. Goddammit. He came into a situation mid-season with no camp, when there were ZERO other point guards and held it together. Yes, once the adrenaline wore off, he came back to earth, but that was also due to a hex that Richard and DarylPeek put on him. He is a different kind of point guard, Victor. Is there room in the NBA, today, for a “son-of Nash” type point guard? I dunno. I am glad we got him, though.

          Victor, the point needs to be able to shoot the 3 or the defense will not respect him–same with the floater. You don’t have to be an acrobatic whirling dervish if you can casually flip it into the hole from the elbow. He’s learning that. He’s learning from Nash. Very cool if you ask me.

          Defense? What defense? MDA had no use for D.

          As far as real performance, you just don’t know what you are talking about. Sorry.

          • Tune

            Honestly, I can’t see Kmarsh being anything special defensive wise even with a different coach. He lacks the athletic ability to use as a crutch and he lacks the intensity of PGs like CP3, Rondo, Beverly and WB have. Not that you need to be that athletic to defend, but he doesn’t have the defensive IQ to make up for it. I can’t see him being anything more than a poor man’s Nash in the 2nd unit.

          • Chrmngblly

            I couldn’t say about that. We never had a coach that taught or valued D. We are going to need team D to be any good with Nash/Marshall and Kobe/Young in the backcourt. Team defense? Maybe. We will see.
            What is a defensive IQ? I never heard that phrase before.

          • Tune

            Not that exactly a term, but I mean just that defensive awareness to strive. Players like CP3 and Beverly have it. Players like Harden, don’t. Nash tries to play defense, but he’s just too old and unathletic really. I think Henry, maybe Nick, Meeks, Bazemore, Hill, and maybe Kelly can be good defenders with the right coach. I just never saw that in Kmarsh at all.

          • Chrmngblly

            He has been a blazing star at every level so far. Let’s wait and see. He’s very humble and seems to work hard.

      • Tune

        I honestly want to see him stay with the team, he definitely can be picked up for cheap since we got him from the d-league unless a team like the Knicks decide to steal him away somehow. My only issue is his defense, so I can’t see him ever starting, plus he lacks overall intensity. I can see with enough motivation of contending that he could be a very solid 2nd unit with Young and Meeks. All 3 are pretty strong 3 point shooters and with Kmarsh being a great true PG and the other 2 being strong spot up shoots, they could be the x-factors.

        • Chrmngblly

          I think he was extremely intense on the offensive end. I can’t answer many of your points, though.

      • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

        Marshall is a great passer and a great shooter from three. Two things that can be developed with work. Marshall is NOT athletic, tenacious, strong, nor does he possess an affinity for defense.

        Marcus Smart is 6’3/6’4 depending on where you read, and 220-225 of bull. He is tremendous at driving the lane. He has decent court vision that can be improved. He is an athletic specimen, and will be able to keep up and defend any PG in the league. Great at boxing out, gathering rebounds and pushing the pace of the game. Can go end to end extremely quickly, forcing opponents into tough situations. His shot is poor, but that is mainly due to poor mechanics, and mechanics can be fixed. He brings the ball down too far, and he turns his body as he shoots. Smart in a maniac for basketball. He is intense, he is a leader, he is a man on the court. Improve his shooting, work a little on not “locking in” to the basket, and I think he will be a tremendous PG for the Lakers.

        • Chrmngblly

          Maybe somewhere for another team in the later rounds. We don’t need to waste our only pick on Smart. Some of the Pros see him going as late as 11th. His stock is falling like a stone. But 11th is not too bad, Marshall went 13th.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Marshall is not a PG of the future. He’s a good backup. Good spot filler. He is not a leader, and does not have the tremendous defense and potential Smart does. Surely you didn’t mean rounds, as Smart is clearly a first round talent. I have heard that the Magic are high on Smart. I have heard nothing about his stock falling unless he is having bad workouts.

            If you don’t like Smart, fine, but you cannot deny the size, athleticism, intensity and defensive prowess the man has.

          • Chrmngblly

            I think Marshall absolutely could be an all-star point guard in the NBA. Don’t confuse point guard with shooting guard. We don’t need a gunner to play point on a Lakers team with plenty of other shooters. I might take Smart with a later selection but I like Lavine a lot, too. I am just not worried about guards right now. Last year we got killed in points in the paint and rebounds. We need some bigs and we need to play defense.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Bully boy types?,So, strong players who can take a lot of contact when they drive to the hoop and can body up with any player at their position with ease? Yeah, I can see why you wouldn’t like those types.

            I didn’t see him.moving poorly, but maybe I missed something. I saw poor shots, but that’s due in large part to mechanics.

            You sit here and bag on Smarts shot, but then turn around and tell me not to confuse PG with SG, and that we don’t need a gunner at PG. Smart drives the lane. He’s a decent kick out passer and can get better. He is a TREMENDOS finisher around the rim. He is an amazing athlete and can start and finish fast breaks with great speed. He is a lock down defender with amazing strength and size, great quickness, and a tenacious mentality.

            You talk points in the paint, how much of that was due to PGs driving and creating plays? I would guarantee Smart would make it a lot tougher for opposing guards to drive the lane. He’d make it a lot tougher to get those passes in to the big men. Do we need interior defense? Of course. But we can’t fix everything RIGHT NOW. There are interior defenders available next offseason in free agency. Lock down the back court and perimeter defense and that will make EVERYTHING tougher for opponents.

          • Chrmngblly

            Your call. I think we need a rim protector most of all. The pros tend to agree with me about Smart but I take your point about getting help from the wings. And don’t take what I said out of context.

            No matter how good Smart may or may not be, we still need the most help at the 4 and 5. Nobody disagrees with that, that I know and respect.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            I definitely agree we need rim protection. But, who do you suggest? Randle won’t get it done. Vonleh definitely could, but will he be available? Gordon has the athleticism to be a good rim protector, but I haven’t heard much about that, just that he’s a good defender. Plus, he may even work out as a 3 if he works on that shot.

            Further down in the draft on might get a guy who can protect the rim, but probably not much else. We need a man who can help on both ends of the floor from this pick.

          • Chrmngblly

            Vonleh or Gordon, Gordon or Vonleh? I think Vonleh is a better shooter, but Gordon is a better athlete. Somebody else is going to decide for us on this, though.

            Maybe Bynum will come back and get his knees fixed.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Lol We can only wish. Hopefully, he can at least get them well enough to be able to give 10-15 minutes on a regular basis. If we had a coach who could slow the pace like Hollins, that would help even more.

            But, if we don’t pick Smart, I’m in with Gordon. I’d love to be able to finally root fora Laker in the dunk contest (I wasn’t into pro hoops when Kobe was in it). Plus, the attitude that kid has screams “hard worker”. I think he could make tons of improvements, especially if he sticks to his promise to harass Kobe for knowledge and mentorship.

          • Chrmngblly

            I wonder what Hollins could do with Pau at center.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Pau is older, weaker, and less assertive than his brother, and a much less effective defender. Pau’s offensive numbers would surely improve, but I just don’t like his lack of defense and intensity. Then again, I love intense players and defense lol.

          • Chrmngblly

            I feel like that about people in general, too, sometimes. I have to stop myself and remember that it takes all kinds in this world. I just wonder how good some of these guys would be playing Team defense for a change. Pau is so smart.

            I think he would help Phil tremendously for a year or two if we could figure out a deal and Phil still wants to play the triangle. I think NY would need to do a sign and trade to take Pau aboard under the CBA so maybe we could do that and throw Nash’s expiring contract in to make the deal work. Tyson Chandler would work good for us for a year or two–better than Monroe for long term max money.

      • A Fan

        Marcus Smart would be a better decision imo. He’s a Rose-Westbrook type of player and in this day and age, we need guys that can slow down or shut down opposing PG’s. I think if LA really wants to make a run in the playoffs or even a title, Marshall would be better suited leading the 2nd unit especially if Farmar’s not re-signed.

        It’s also why I want LA to hire Lionel Hollins and sign either Deng or Stephenson. I’ve been liking the idea of a Smart-Kobe-Deng or Smart-Stephenson-Kobe combo with Hollins as the coach. LA’s perimeter D would improve a whole lot!

        I really don’t get the obsession with using our pick on a PF. Hill and Pau can be re-signed, Kelly can develop into a good role player, there are a bunch of good big men that can be signed in this FA (Gortat, Hawes, Dalembert) and next year’s FA (Love and Asik, to name a few)

        • Chrmngblly

          Those guys are not actually available–Gortat, for one, or are average schlobos. The last thing I would ever do is draft a ball-hog who can’t shoot as a point guard–and Smart is no Westbrook or Lillard.
          We need a rim protector. Look at all the games we lost last year just from points in the paint and rebounds. That’s what those who know say we need most. All the guys you really like should be playing football.

          • A Fan

            Dude, let’s be realistic. The only way LA’s really gonna get a rim protector this offseason is via trade. I for one am not really expecting LA to even win the title next season, I’m leaning more on 2015-2016 (Though I wouldn’t count Mitch Kupchak out, I’m hoping for another shocker from him). And if it’s team defense we’d be preaching, Pau’s length combined with Hill’s hustle should be more than enough. I mean, LA did make it to the finals 3 years in a row with Pau as the main C and Miami won back2back titles with Bosh at the 5.

            We need a solid perimeter D. Pau would have less of a trouble trying to contest opposing PG’s shots if those guards didn’t get past Nash or Marshall almost every single fckin time. Heck, Kobe is also guilty of bird watching on the perimeter.

            And is ‘should be playing football’ supposed to be an insult? I wouldn’t mind having bully ball players hounding the opposition on the perimeter.
            Smart’s shooting may not stand out, but shooting is something that can be improved. You can’t teach hustle and heart, that’s something a player naturally has. And Smart has them. He can be LA’s solution to their never-ending problems of trying to guard opposing PG’s. Heck, I can imagine Kobe taking Smart under his wing because he’d be impressed with Smart’s work ethic and hustle playing style.

          • Chrmngblly

            Some guys like football players and some of us like basketball types. Nothing you say is something I consider flattering to a basketball player. I don’t like Smart’s attitude, his numbers, how he moves, shoots or passes–he is just a muscular guy. You are welcome to him. He is not Westbrook or Lillard.

          • A Fan

            And again, they have no business drafting a PF if they’re really serious on making a push for Kevin Love. It doesn’t make any sense

          • Chrmngblly

            I totally agree which is why I prefer Gordon–he is fast enough to play the 3 too. If we get Vonley, I say we forget Love or trade Vonley for him. We can’t do nothing. Pau and Kobe are just getting older and slower. If we had two good young defensive forwards–even Kelly to help Pau, maybe we could cover him up. Or replace Pau.

          • Chrmngblly

            We need a 4 or 5 but Gordon could play the 3 & 4–so he could slide over if that miracle ever happens. I doubt we ever get Love anyway, but we still need bigs to cover the paint and rebound.

  • Jim

    I’m going to be a little controversial here and say the lakers should help boston get kevin love by trading for their first round picks with cash. This would allow boston to make a trade for kevin love by just giving up players.

    The lakers should then draft Aaron gordon and Julius randle.The league is going small so play them at the 4 and the 5! Lakers would have two extremely competitive players dedicated to the game. They would be the future. I know this sounds crazy.

    They could then go to Kobe and say hey you give up some of your salary and we can sign Carmelo and put him at the three next to you. From there they fill out the rest of the roster.

    • Tune

      That’s not a bad idea, but I feel like if we faced a team like the Clippers or Grizzlies we’d get destroyed. It could maybe work, but still no idea. I like to idea of having Gordon on our team though. Main teams we’re going to have to worry about if we want to contend with Kobe are OKC, Spurs (maybe), Clippers, and the Heat. Gordon should be able to contain Durant, LeBron, Griffin, and Duncan as his body develops more. Not contain in the sense of shutdown defense or anything, but keep up with them and really bother them. Not so much Duncan since he’s pretty much guaranteed to get his normal numbers of 15-20ppg. I can imagine Gordon shutting down KD since KD honestly lacks control when faced with a persistent defender (see Tony Allen and Matt Barnes).

    • kookiebuger

      Okay, first the league isn’t getting smaller there are a lot of young big men who can become great such as Davis,Noel,Drummond and Emiid and other players from future drafts Okafur,Alexander,Stein,etc. Second why help the Celtics? The enemy? The Lakers are trying to surpass them not help them unless they have offer Rondo or a couple of 1st round picks.

      • Tune

        I don’t think he means actually help them out, but pretty much help ourselves by helping them. Get them Love and we can get the pick. I’m personally not that big on having Love unless we had a player like Deandre, Embiid, Noah, or Dwight.

        • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

          Or Asik.

          • kookiebuger

            Unless the Rockets trade him to the Lakers with a 1st round pick then no.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Asik will be a UFA in 2015.

      • Jim

        I know that’s why I said its controversial. But really to be honest there are very few Elite big men in the league. The only ones that would truly pose problems are Deandre Jordan, Dwight Howard, because of their wingspan. Those guys hover around the 7’3, 7’4 wingspan range and are explosive leapers. All of the other big men with an elite wingspan have small frames. Noel, can jump but has a small frame same thing with anthony davis. Andre drummond is very agile and can jump but he is still a deandre jordan type. These are a few big men. Also note that none of these big men are go to players outside of dwight howard. Most of them do not dominate the ball. Its just on defense and rebounding that they dominate.

        Aaron gordon will get by on his quickness and explosive jumping. Julius is extremely agile and will move bodies.

        I think what really separates Aaron Gordon and Julius randle is that they are hyper competitive. Randle looks and acts like he would eat your children(while on the court). He has an edge that is very similar to kobe. Aaron gordon smiles a lot but he’s cocky and extremely confident in himself. He seems like he would be a great teammate a great guy to have in the locker room. These guys are gonna compete every night. Aaron gordon did a workout earlier during the day before he came and worked out with the lakers . He’s comitted to working hard. Randle too.

        I love Noah Vonleh’s upside 7’4 wingspan, huge hands, can pick the ball off the floor with one hand using either hand. Can shoot decently from the three can dribble etc. But I haven’t seen that mentality yet. Aaron Gordon and Julius randle both have some nasty in them and that will get them over the hump in big situations, they will not shrink when it gets hyper competitive.

        Have you ever seen lebron james or carmelo anthony miss a layup and go after an an offensive rebound? Watch how hard they go after the ball. Blake griffin is the same way. What is it that klay thompson said? “blake is like a bull in a china shop”? Well James, and carmelo play the same way. You just don’t get to see it that often because they play on the perimeter. I challenge anyone to go look at videos watching kobe fight for position in the post. Better yet go watch kobe play defense on carmelo in the post. Now that is some good basketball right there that is real competition. Very few players in the league have the mindset to really get into it like that. You can instantly tell that both of them have an edge. They have a certain mentality, I’m gonna get where I wanna go. And there is nothing you can do to stop me. I have seen julius randle play with that same mentality at UK and when I watch Aaron gordon play I look at his opponents. Their’ are mad expressions on their faces, they are frustrated its not uncommon to see a little shove after the play. He doesn’t care how his opponents feels he’s just there to do what he needs to do. Watch when people play against randle its like 4 guys converge in the post, look at their faces he’s moving so fast and playing so hard. What do the defenders do? They reach they don’t wanna body him up they want not part of that action. When A guy plays like that defenders want no part of him. Watch lebron get a rebound on offense normally the small forward is leaning away from him trying to reach in because he’s just two big, and he is moving too fast and playing too hard when he tries a tip in.

        Just look at that pacers series. Everybody on the pacers just kinda shut down and let themselves get run over by the heat except for two players. David west was all but unstoppable unfortunately the pacers didn’t make miami play defense in the post. Lance Stephenson for all his antics did not vanish like some others. Most players can get by at normal speed. But when it becomes hyper competitive the real competitors separate themselves from the pack, they standout. Other players shrink. Kobe just wants somebody he can go to war with. These two guys Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle have a certain mentality that most others don’t possess they might not be perfect especially in the beginning but they will show up and compete every single night at an extremely high level.

  • Bruce

    Utah probably take Vonleh, Boston take Gordon, Lakers take either Randle or Smart, one of the two, shouldn’t be any surprises.

  • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

    IF we draft a PF (I’m still high on Smart), I want to see Aaron Gordon. From the interviews, he seems like the kind of guy that is going to have tremendous work ethic and desire to improve every facet of his game. He says he is “psycho about basketball” which sounds a lot like another player on the Lakers roster.

    Combine that with his athleticism, and we could have an extremely entertaining player on our hands. Hell, we could even move him to SF, which would allow us to pursue Love in 2015.

    • Tune

      That’s how I feel about him, he just carries himself in a way that I feel he’ll be a great player. He’s very athletic, defensive-minded, and will be on a team where his offense won’t be as needed. Assuming we have Kobe, Gasol, Young, Meeks/Bazemore, and such. Thing with Love is I don’t think he’s going to stay with the T-wolves long enough and we won’t be able to offer any trade values for him.

      • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

        2015 will likely have Love as a FA. I’m no fan of trading for him. Either we get him in FA, or we find another PF.

        • Tune

          I don’t see many realistic PFs that we can get on the market. I think teams will have better trades to get Love or Love will want to go to a team like the Bulls to contend now rather than later if he doesn’t have faith in the Lakers. Not getting Aldridge, Griffin, Ibaka, or Davis either. Not many solid young PFs.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            Aldridge will be a UFA in 2015 if I’m not mistaken. I’m addition, if we can’t get a potential franchise guy at PF, then we bring in a role player (or develop Kelly), and use that cap space we’ll save to go after more expensive free agents like Marc Gasol, or other higher end role players. Also, if they don’t draft Smart, they may have cap space to pursue Rondo, Irving, etc

          • Tune

            He has 2 years and I doubt he leaves Portland, they have a solid young team.

          • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

            He is an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season. Its likely he stays, but anyone can be persuaded with the right pitch. Especially if the Lakers make a big turnaround this season, paired with plenty of cap space next season.

  • Scott

    Always draft a big guy all things being equal. You can’t teach height.

  • iBanonymous

    Aaron Gordon! The Lakers need major help on the defensive end and this guy can guard 3-4 different positions on the floor.

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