The Los Angeles Lakers have worked out a number of different prospects during the pre-draft process. It seems as if most have the team pegged for either forward Julius Randle or point guard Marcus Smart, both of whom are expected to be able to contribute immediately.
However, that may change if Joel Embiid is still on the board when the Lakers are on the clock. Embiid was expected to be the top pick in the draft, but foot surgery has dropped his stock some. Now, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are one of three teams Embiid could end up with:
Joel Embiid's seriously in play for three spots in top part of lottery: 76ers (3), Celtics (6), Lakers (7), league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
This is the complete opposite of what the Lakers are believed to be focused on. With Kobe Bryant’s career winding down, the team supposedly wants guys who can step in and contribute right away. Embiid, however, may not be ready to play until 2015.
The talent and potential of Embiid may be too much to pass up for the Lakers. Los Angeles has a history of franchise centers dating back to George Mikan and moving through Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol. Embiid could be next in line.
This year’s draft is completely unpredictable. No one knows what will happen, and the Lakers are sure to have some difficult decisions to make once they are on the clock.
Lakers Most Likely Draft Candidates