This is the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2017 NBA Draft Strategy from Basketball Society. Below are each of the picks they own in the draft. Throughout this Draft Strategy Guide, we will be providing two prospects for each pick in the 1st Round and one suggestion for each of the picks in the 2nd Round that the Lakers should look into selecting come draft time.
2017 NBA Draft Picks:
1st Round Pick (Protected 1-3)
1st Round Pick (via Houston)
2nd Round Pick (They keep the pick only if they lose their 1st pick to Philly which means they will most likely lose it)
1st Round Pick (#2 as of March 30th)
Lonzo Ball (UCLA PG)
Lonzo Ball has been the most talked about prospect in this draft for some time now. Some of it is due to his father talking him up, but it’s also due to how great of a player Lonzo is.
The first thing you notice when you see Lonzo shoot is how awkward his form in. As long as it is a quick release and it goes in, there’s nothing to complain about. As we know, range is a non issue for Lonzo Ball:
His athleticism is not a problem for him either:
Lonzo Ball is a sure fire top 3 pick in the draft this year. His ability to find the open space off-ball and be someone that truly helps his teammates around him when he has the ball are two qualities that should not be overlooked. Lonzo Ball would be the perfect compliment to D’Angelo Russell in the back-court for the Los Angeles Lakers.
NO, LONZO BALL WOULD NOT REPLACE D’ANGELO RUSSELL.
Russell and Ball could split point guard duties for the Lakers and are both unselfish players. Both of them are terrific passers who don’t need the ball to contribute to the squad.
Josh Jackson (Kansas SF)
Though Josh Jackson is listed at SF, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d be able to play on the wing. His ability to explode is a great strength of his. Jackson’s shot is not at knock-down status yet, but that’s the only part of his game that is not fully matured yet. He’s one of the guys in the draft who can come into any team and produce immediately, no matter his role.
Some people are afraid that Josh Jackson could turn into the next Ben McLemore. (I’m not ready to count out McLemore by the way.) Josh Jackson, like I said, will be able to produce right away. He doesn’t hold the ball too much and is able to attack the basket and score without too many dribbles which is something that sets him apart from McLemore:
Josh Jackson’s ability to score with such ease with either hand is something that will translate. He could work well next to D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Jackson will need to make that 3-point jumper consistent for him to be able to reach that elite echelon.
He has the skills and has already proved he can dunk on pretty much anyone. The only thing that is left is turning all of this potential into something that a team like the Lakers can use.
1st Round Draft Pick (via Houston, #28 as of March 30th)
Semi Ojeleye (SMU SF)
Semi Ojeleye is a monster. I mean, just take a look at the kid! He’s built like a damn tank. It’s hard to tell right now where he’ll go in the draft. At this point, I’d guess he’d go in the late 1st Round range, but with a good combine he could really jump up boards.
Ojeleye is a 6’7/6’8 230 pound small forward who obviously is already NBA ready with his stature. He shot above 48% from the floor this season and 42% from deep. He averaged over 18 points per game for SMU and brought down almost 7 rebounds per game.
The one major issue I have with Semi is his lack of confidence at times. During their tournament game against USC, you were just waiting around for him to take over, but he just didn’t do so and let Shake Milton do most of the shooting at the end of the game. While that part was a disappointment in my eyes, he still pulled off an unbelievable put-back dunk in that game:
Semi can have that Marcus Smart type impact on a team in that even if his offense doesn’t transition to the league right away, he’ll still be able bring that defensive intensity with him that would surely earn him solid minutes in the rotation.
Often you’ll see Semi settle for the three-point shot instead of putting his head down and attacking the basket. He has the size to do it, but didn’t commit to always getting the best shot possible.
Semi Ojeleye was at Duke for the first 2 years of his college career. He rarely saw time on the court and was really not able to find any success even when he got his chance. There has to be a concern with drafting Ojeleye for the simple fact that he wasn’t able to contribute nearly enough on a team with so many stars.
The Lakers are an organization who are in rebuild mode. The Houston pick will be an important one. Semi Ojeleye definitely has the skills to be someone they should consider with that pick.
Chimezie Metu (USC PF/C)
We are unsure at this point whether Chimezie Metu will declare for the 2017 NBA Draft. I believe he’ll declare given how great of a year he had. It’s still very possible that he’ll wait a year though because of how great the draft class is this year. Nevertheless, let’s talk a bit about Metu.
Chimezie Metu played center for USC this season and had a very good year. He was very consistent from the floor (55.2 FG%) and from the line (74.1 FT%). He showed off his ability to strech the floor at times with his underrated jumper. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to bring a consistent deep mid-range or even 3-point jumper to a team, but he’ll be a good close range shooter.
There’s no question that Metu has to bulk up. He’s 6’11 yet only weighs about 220 lbs. That just won’t cut it in the NBA. But, Chimezie only just turned 19 years old.
This one play below shows you his potential as a pick and roll player:
Does he maybe have some Clint Capela type potential in that aspect? Sure, but I still think he can offer even more to you offensively. The Lakers have Randle, Mozgov, Zubac, and Nance currently as their four bigs in their rotation. Metu could be a nice compliment to Randle in that front-court.
If the Lakers are more confident in Zubac, than they should maybe elect to go for Semi instead of Metu. But, either way, each pick for the Lakers will depend on if they keep that first overall pick which is protected for the first 3 picks in the draft. If they do, then these 4 guys should be some of the top prospects they look into for their respective 1st round picks.