The Los Angeles Lakers selected Moritz Wagner out of Michigan with the 25th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Wagner was among the prospects to participate in a pre-draft workout at the team’s UCLA Health Training Facility.
In reading the tea leaves and analyzing their pre-draft workouts, it was evident the Lakers were targeting shooting and versatility in this year’s draft. Wagner fits that description, having shot 39.4 percent from behind the 3-point line over the last two seasons.
In addition, he shares a collegiate background with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, which the two discussed during Wagner’s workout.
The Lakers went into the night with three draft picks, the latest of which was No. 39 overall, acquired in Wednesday’s trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia received a 2019 second round pick via the Chicago Bulls and cash considerations.
Perhaps more importantly, the Lakers addressed their lack of a first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft through a midseason trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It filled a void that was the final aspect of the ill-fated Steve Nash trade.
Getting into the first round may ultimately prove key for L.A., considering their recent success with such picks. Over the past few years they’ve unearthed Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Larry Nance Jr.
Reported Lakers targets Zhaire Smith and Donte DiVincenzo were drafted 16th and 17th, respectively. Additionally, Maryland’s Kevin Huerter was taken by the Atlanta Hawks at No. 19 overall.
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