The Lakers didn’t have a first round pick, and had to wait until the 18th pick of the second round to make their first selection of the 2013 NBA Draft. Despite only having the 48th pick, there was some quality talent that late in the draft. Instead, they drafted Ryan Kelly, a 6-11 228 center out of Duke.
Kelly was a great shooter for the Blue Devils, but he has limited mobility and isn’t the banger inside that the Lakers are going to need. He’ll be able to stretch the floor to prove space in the middle for the other Lakers bigs, but his defensive deficiencies leave him a bit raw to play him extended minutes.
It make a little sense considering Mike D’Antoni’s system. Pau struggled because he couldn’t consistently hit the mid-range jumper and was unwilling to play beyond the three-point line on a regular basis. Kelly could help here in stretches with his ability to shoot, but there were other roles that the Lakers needed to fill, and could have with some of the other guys who were on the board.
Kelly shot 45 percent from the field in his senior year and averaged just under 13 points per game. He’s currently recovering from an unspecified surgery, but given the fact that the Lakers drafted him, it’s hard to believe that he won’t be available by the time training camp starts.