Update: The Lakers have announced that Cal’s Jaylen Brown, along with Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere, will be working out for the team on Friday. The work out will be private, but the two will be speaking to the media afterwards. We will have quotes from the media availability as they become available.
Original Story Follows:
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has openly stated that he does not believe there is a steep drop-off between Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram and the rest of the 2016 NBA Draft class, despite just about everyone else believing that there actually is.
Even with a shot at drafting Simmons or Ingram — the consensus top-two this year — the Lakers will certainly take a look at other prospects projected near the top of the draft. According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, the University of California’s Jaylen Brown could be one of them, starting this weekend (h/t Silver Screen and Roll).
Chad Ford, another member of ESPN, said Friday that he doesn’t believe there is any chance that the Lakers pass on Ingram if he is available at No. 2, and just about everyone agrees.
Los Angeles desperately needs help at both small forward and center, and Ingram would certainly provide a promising solution to the former. After Ingram, Brown looks to be the next best wing option in this draft. The 19-year-old already has an NBA-ready body, equipped with elite athleticism. There’s plenty to like about Brown, except for his perimeter shooting. He shot just 29.4 percent from three this season for the Golden Bears, while Ingram shot 41 percent.
It would be shocking if the Lakers pass on either Simmons or Ingram at No. 2. But they will complete their due diligence, like any other team would, preparing themselves for any scenario that could unfold on June 23.
With that being said, it would still likely take a drastic turn of events for the Lakers to end up with someone other than Simmons or Ingram on draft night.