With the their only pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Duke power forward Ryan Kelly with the 48th overall pick. Certainly this was a not a player that Laker fans saw them drafting especially with the talent that was still on the board at the time of the pick, but nevertheless, Ryan Kelly is the 2013 draft pick by the Lakers.
Kelly played four seasons for Duke and was recognized as one of the best if not the best shooting forwards in college basketball. However, Kelly’s offensive abilities did not carry over to the defensive side. Kelly lacked strength defending in the post and lateral movement which is something the Lakers need an incredible amount of help with.
Last year Kelly average 12.9 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game. He shot 42% from 3-point range which I guess can help the Lakers perimeter shooting.
What many do not know, is that the Lakers did not work out Ryan Kelly prior to Thursday’s draft and it is not because the Lakers chose not too. Ryan Kelly is actively recovering for foot surgery.
According to Mark Medina, Ryan Kelly is 11 weeks removed from surgery.
Ryan Kelly said he’s 11 weeks from surgery. Said x-rays showed full healing in foot
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 28, 2013
Yes, maybe the x-rays are showing full healing in his foot, but are the Lakers really basing their only draft pick on a player who only played half the season last year, and also will not participate in any summer leagues?
This pick screams Mike D’Antoni. All offense and three point shooter, but is very limited in his defensive ability.
Can Kelly be a possibility for Steve Nash off pick and roll? Sure, but his abilities can only be utilized in specific situations which make this pick a very questionable one.
Some notable players who were on the board when the Lakers made their pick: DeShaun Thomas forward from Ohio State, he happened to lead the Big 10 in scoring last year but why bother? Also point guard C.J. Leslie from N.C. State who ended up going undrafted was there, and it is no secret at all that the Lakers desperately need help at point guard with an aging Steve Nash and Steve Blake.
Hopefully Mitch Kupchack has some tricks up his sleeve, because at the moment, Laker fans are scratching their heads about this one.