There are plenty of rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft. The fact that the Lakers acquired the 39th overall pick from the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday only further served to add to the existing questions as to their intentions.
The team has multiple different needs and worked out more than 100 players in the weeks leading up to the draft, so there are plenty of ways the franchise could go. One of those needs is in the backcourt with their point guard position as things went south when Lonzo Ball was injured.
There are plenty of options who could fit the bill that could be available for any of the Lakers’ picks, but the team could have their eye on Villanova’s Jalen Brunson. According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Lakers brought him in for an individual workout earlier this month:
One Lakers thing: Jalen Brunson had an individual workout with the Lakers earlier this month. It was not among the workouts the team announced. This doesn't mean they're going to draft him. But it's interesting.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) June 21, 2018
The majority of the Lakers workouts tend to be in group settings so anyone they bring in for a solo workout is sure to get some extra attention. Someone like Brunson certainly checks a lot of boxes that the Lakers are looking for.
The Lakers have tended to lean towards experienced college players with their later draft picks as Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart all played at least three seasons. Brunson also spent three years at Villanova, winning two national championships and is a former teammate of Hart’s.
While he isn’t necessarily viewed as a prospect with great upside, Brunson is a steady, reliable playmaker who shot over 40 percent from three-point range, and is a hard-nosed defender. Some have even compared him to Lakers favorite Derek Fisher.
Brunson is viewed as a late-first or early second-round selection so if the Lakers are locked in on him, no. 25 would be the safest bet as he could be gone before their next pick.
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