The Lakers finally hold a first round pick and they chose the perfect year to have one as the 2014 NBA Draft is one of the most loaded drafts in NBA history. With the Lakers likely to fall in the lottery this season for the first time since 2005, they will be in position to add an excellent building block for the future.
ESPN’s Chad Ford recently released his second version of his mock draft. If everything was to hold where it is right now, the Lakers would be selecting ninth in the draft, and Ford sees the Lakers going international should they land there, taking Croatian forward Dario Saric:
Analysis: Mike D’Antoni loves point guards. So how about a 6-foot-10 PG who passes, rebounds and is an aggressive scorer? Saric isn’t an elite athlete nor is he a dead-eye shooter, but he’s a wizard with the basketball, is putting up terrific numbers in Croatia and seems like a great fit on this young Lakers squad. Several GMs told me that if he were in college right now, he’d be at least four or five spots higher on our Big Board, so there’s value there.
Listed at 6’10 and 223 pounds, Saric seems very similar to Lamar Odom in his skill set. With the league going smaller, Saric would fit right in as a big small forward, or small-ball power forward. The ability to grab a rebound and lead a fast break is one that very few players possess.
UCLA point guard Zach Levine, Indiana power forward Noah Vonleh, and Arizona forward Aaron Gordon are all in the area of where the Lakers selected in this edition of the mock draft. There are a number of excellent players to select, and many Lakers will be checking one out tonight. Needless to say, the Lakers will have a lot of options come draft night.
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