While much of the focus has been on who the Los Angeles Lakers will select with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, it can’t be forgotten that they also own the 28th selection as well.
Because the draft is so unpredictable, it’s impossible to know who will be available. Some players drop down the draft while others are selected much higher than projected. One of the more intriguing this year is Indiana forward OG Anunoby.
Due to a torn ACL suffered in January, Anunoby’s draft range is very wide as no one is sure when he’ll be healthy. Regardless, the Lakers are reportedly hoping he falls to them at No. 28, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News:
The Lakers have been hopeful that Anunoby would somehow last through the first round to their second pick, No. 28. Of all the things their young core of recent draftees lacks, a defensive edge tops the list, and that is Anunoby’s strength.
Anunoby has lottery talent and had he not suffered the injury would be a lock to be taken there or even higher. Unfortunately, there are some reporting that he may miss his entire rookie season which is a major red flag for teams.
For a team like the Lakers who, as Deveney noted, needs some serious help on defense they may be willing to wait out that year if Anunoby ultimately returns to full strength.
At the end of the first round, many teams are likely to swing for the fences on players with immense talent, but serious red flags and Anunoby fits the bill. At 6’8 with a 7’2 wingspan and outstanding quickness and athleticism, it’s easy to see the potential. Whether or not he lasts that long remains to be seen.
Draft Express currently has Anunoby going 22nd to the Nets while ESPN has him slated to go 13th to the Nuggets.