The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to make their selections in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft and are leaving no stone unturned as they sort through the available prospects. They have already seen a plethora of NBA hopefuls and on Monday a new crop will come in.
This next group features Matt Farrell of Notre Dame, Zach Lofton of New Mexico State, Western Kentucky’s Justin Johnson, Daxter Miles of West Virginia, Fairfield’s Tyler Nelson, and Georgetown’s Marcus Derrickson.
Farrell, a senior, averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 assists at Notre Dame last season. He also shot 38 percent from three, something that could come in handy on a Lakers team that badly needs to improve their shooting.
Meanwhile, Lofton was a key player for New Mexico State, putting up a scorching 20.1 points and 5 rebounds per game. While he can certainly score the basketball, Lofton will have age working against him.
He is already 25 and will turn 26 in November. The Lakers have done well drafting older players like Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., and Josh Hart, but Lofton would be pushing that practice to a new level.
At 6’7″ and with 3-point range, Johnson may draw some interest in the NBA, where floor spacing has become extremely important. He finished his fourth year at Western Kentucky on a high night, hitting 42 percent of his threes while also chipping in 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds, which was a conference high. His overall field goal percentage of 52 percent should get him a solid look.
Another senior, Daxter Miles is the only player of this bunch to appear on the Basketball Insiders Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects list. He earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Tournament team thanks to his strong play, which included 1.3 steals per game.
Keeping with the trend of auditioning seniors, the Lakers bring in Fairfield’s all-time leader in points, threes, and free throw percentage in Nelson. The 6’3″ guard averaged 22.2 points 4.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals in his senior season.
To round out the group, Georgetown’s Derrickson showed the kind of inside-outside versatility that NBA teams love. He hit an impressive 47 percent from three last season while using his 6’7″ frame to snag 8.1 rebounds per game, which landed him on the All Big-East Second Team.
The NBA Draft is on June 21, giving the Lakers just a few more weeks to plan who they will select.
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