Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Watch: UCLA’s Zach LaVine Reviewed by Momizat on . The most intriguing prospect in college basketball this season may be hidden right here in Los Angeles. Although this freshman wasn't as heralded by recruiting The most intriguing prospect in college basketball this season may be hidden right here in Los Angeles. Although this freshman wasn't as heralded by recruiting Rating: 0
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Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Watch: UCLA’s Zach LaVine

ZachLaVineThe most intriguing prospect in college basketball this season may be hidden right here in Los Angeles.

Although this freshman wasn’t as heralded by recruiting experts as some of his peers, Zach LaVine is a name that has been known for quite some time by the scouts.

The UCLA Bruin has skyrocketed up the prospect chart due to being a 6’5″ explosive guard who can play either the one or the two.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? An explosive combo type guard coming out of UCLA? It would be easy to draw a comparison to Russell Westbrook, but the scary thing is he might ACTUALLY play like him.

Like Westbrook, LaVine is an athletic freak who can get up and down the court and jump out of the gym. Look at this back door cut for an easy slam.

Although LaVine has come off the bench (like Westbrook had to his freshman year) he is still playing over 25 minutes a game. In that time the righty from Seattle is averaging 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

The most impressive thing about his game though may be his stroke from the three-point line. He’s shooting over 45% from deep but looks ultra confident in his shot whether it be coming off a curl screen or being wide open off a broken play. Wasn’t that one of Westbrook’s negatives coming into the league? He seems to shoot it okay now I’d say.

Another reason why he is being labeled as the next coming of Westbrook is his late blooming. Westbrook wasn’t a household name when he stepped onto campus in Westwood. LaVine has already grown two inches in the last year, and that’s a scary thought.

With the Bruins already having a point guard in Kyle Anderson, LaVine gets almost all of his minutes off the ball. But when he is attacking off the dribble and creating for others, there’s a hint that he definitely could be a one at the next level. Though he would still have to prove that he can run an offense and get others going consistently, this is one reason NBA Executives seem to be falling in love with LaVine more and more.

The long arms and quickness of LaVine also translates to the defensive side of the ball just as well. He seems to take pride in his defense and doesn’t just focus on where his next shot will come from. This is a great trait to have when your strongest part of your game is getting out into transition and making highlight reel dunks like this one against a now nationally ranked Missouri team.

If the Lakers continue to play at their current level, LaVine would be a perfect pick for a team that has been killed by the pick and roll for years. They have lacked that athletic guard for some time now and LaVine would be the perfect answer. Though it may take some time for LaVine to adjust to not being a pure scorer, the patience necessary for such a young talent might just be worth it.

LaVine told Sports Illustrated, “That’s my ultimate goal, is to get to the NBA. With the one-and-done, I don’t know about that yet. I feel like anyone would consider it. It’s going to be a decision me and my family make at the end of the year.”

If you haven’t seen LaVine this season, get to it before he goes top 10 like most scouts are projecting.

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About The Author

Number of Entries : 14
  • Lakers Fan

    They should go after Joel Embiid. He is a rim protector and a solid scorer. He could work with Kareem and let him become his mentor. By doing that, he could become a beast in this league. LaVine is nice. I watched him play last night against Arizona. But our main issue is protecting the rim, and that’s what Embiid would do for us if we could draft him.

    • D-League Status

      Yes we can get him.I just want to let you know Joel Embiid is awesome.

  • LakeShow

    I’d still prefer if Lakers draft Dante Exum if we are looking for combo-guard. Lakers should be looking for a franchise player. No disrespect to Zach.

    I wished the Lakers have more than one first round pick for 2014.

    • Lakers Fan

      Exum is debating on if he wants to come play for a college team before he goes pro.

  • D-League Status

    First of all thank you Lakers Nation for this wonderful article on a Draft Prospect.As bad as the Lakers have been playing and with all the losses piling up and the other factor this long road trip and all the injuries yes the Lakers need to give us some hope for the future and articles like this remind us their is a light at the end of the tunnel.But one thing is for sure i am tripping on people who say the Lakers can’t get so and so in the draft???

    I am sure those people are just going off the Lakers name brand and not following how bad the team is currently.Also factor in the Grammy Road Trip upcoming and factor in Brooklyn and The Knicks are in full gear and starting to win games finally also factor in Cavs just got Deng that will help them be better than the Lakers record wise.Also Marc Gasol is coming back soon to the Grizzlies and he will help them have a much better record than the Lakers eventually.Also factor in since Trey Burke got healthy and started playing for Utah they have been winning games and have been playing .500 basketball.

    Also the Kings got Rudy Gay now and they have won some games lately.Boston is getting Rajon Rondo back very soon and he will help them win way more games than they are winning now.At the end it’s between the Lakers and Bucks for the #1 pick.Lakers are Tanking or i mean just a team not capable winning.Yes Lakers will get a top 3 pick.

    • David Mieli

      Also factor in that Kobe and Nash will come back on January 28th…..

      • cj

        nash wont be back this season.

        the lakers have proven kobe coming back wont save them.

        atp the lakers are a 20-35 ish win team this will put them well with in line of a top 3 pick.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Devin Ebanks is currently the number 2 prospect in the D-League.Here are the latest on the former Lakers player.He is worth a shot for a 10 day contract from the Lakers IMO.This is the kind of team he would play big minutes on before he was saddled to the bench because Kobe,MWP,Matt Barnes were all veterans ahead of the young guy Ebanks in the rotation.Do it Mitch.

    Here is the Latest news on Devin Ebanks in the D-League.

    2013-14 Regular Season Statistics

    PPG 24.4

    RPG 9.7

    APG 1.7

    EFF +24.11

    Born: Oct 28, 1989

    Height: 6-9 / 2,06

    Weight: 215 lbs. / 97,5 kg.

    College: West Virginia

    Bio: A perfect combination of upside and already realized talent, Ebanks has spent three years with the Lakers, yet is still only 24 years old. In the NBA D-League, he should score and rebound with the best bigs in the league, but still he’s a few go-to post moves away from being a consistent scorer at the next level. He is also only 6-foot-9, so he could benefit from adding some bulk to his frame.

    • David Mieli

      would be a solid pick up

    • cj

      dont care about his post skills. did he improve his three point shooting. thats y he failed in this league. he has a tweener body with no outside shot.

  • Will

    Zach Lavine is like an athletic Klay Thompson. UCLA is just a poor system for him. I think his stock will fall because of his inconsistent stat lines but he’s definitely a sleeper.

    • Tim

      How is UCLA a poor system? They run up and down and get up a lot of shots by everyone. They constantly run him off screens in the half court game. UCLA is averaging around 80 points this year. Sounds like you haven’t watched a UCLA game this year. Ben Howland isn’t the coach anymore. Know what your talking about before you say something dumb

      • Will

        Are you serious? 1.) They only get up and down when they arent playing zone and Kyle Anderson isn’t running the break which is rare. 2.) Most of the half court off screens are set up so that Jordan Adams can score. When he has off nights they look for anyone else which is usually Lavine on the wing. 3.) I never said UCLA was a poor system. I said it was a poor system for him. If he went to any other school on his list like Zona or Washington he would easily be the number one option offensively.

        I have no problem with Mora’s system dude. Just think he isnt being utilized to his potential.

        • jerry

          uhm Will…. Mora is the football coach….

        • socali

          Jim Mora is the football coach, Will. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. =(

  • Joseph Apohen

    I love this kid Lavine. His quckness and quick release reminds me of a Jerry West. It’s nice to get a big defender but we need a star in the making. How many big men are there that the people want to see. The stars are those who handle the ball and Lavine is a star in the making.

  • vulkanthekrusader

    You guys read my fucking my mind, I was saying if the Lakers get Love, Levine (via Draft) and Kobe for the next two years healthy, with a roles being filled out, then we can get back to contention.

  • socali

    Man stop it. Hes too raw. Ive been one of the handful of people actually watching the Bruins this year and I can honestly say he needs time to develop. Hell be a beast but he needs to bulk up and get some experience before he gets fed to the wolves in the NBA. Tyler Honeycutt ring a bell? Malcolm Lee? Shabazz Mohammad?

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