The NBA Draft lottery is swiftly approaching, and soon we will know whether or not the basketball gods smiled upon the Los Angeles Lakers and allowed them to retain their top-three protected first-round pick. In the meantime, draft hopefuls are going through workouts and preparing for their lives to change when they realize their dream of being selected on draft day. Duke’s Jayson Tatum is hoping that he is the first player off the board.
This year’s draft appears to be a talented one, with several players in the running to be taken with the first overall pick. Along with Tatum, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson could all make a case to be taken No. 1. Tatum recently appeared on “The Sidelines with Evan Daniels” to explain why he feels he is the best player in the draft:
“I feel like I’m the most skilled player. Just at my height and my size, just to be able to score from anywhere on the floor, I think that’s kinda what separates me. You know, I’m kind of an overall player, I feel like I can do it all. I rebound well, I’ll get blocks and assists. I”m not the best defender in the draft but I’ve definitely held my own. I feel like I’m the hardest worker, I don’t think anybody has outworked me, and that’s what I bring to the table. I’m always willing to learn and I just love working on my craft, to get better as much as I can.”
For the Lakers, the focus is currently just on keeping their pick. They have just a 47 percent chance of landing in the top three. Otherwise, their pick becomes the property of the Philadelphia 76ers. Should the ping pong balls bounce their way, Tatum would be an interesting choice, though his fit with the team is questionable.
He is primarily a scorer who operates best in isolation, but coach Luke Walton’s offense preaches ball movement, and the Lakers already have Brandon Ingram on the wing. Of course, if the Lakers decide that Tatum is the player most likely to become a superstar then they should take him and worry about fit later.
With the draft lottery just over a week away, we will soon know exactly where the Lakers stand.