Update: Skal Labissiere will be working out for the Lakers on Friday, according to the team. The work out, on the same day as Jaylen Brown’s, will be private in nature but the Kentucky freshman will speak to the media afterwards. We will have quotes as they become available.
Original Story Follows:
The Los Angeles Lakers have the second overall pick in the NBA Draft and at this point, their choice seems to have been made for them. The team will almost certainly choose between LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
However, with reports that the Sixers are heavily favoring drafting Simmons, it seems clear at this point in the process that Ingram will soon be a Los Angeles Laker.
Despite the near certainty in what will happen on June 23rd, the Lakers are diligently performing work outs, anyway. By now, the Lakers have already worked out Marquette center Henry Ellenson. They have also scheduled workouts with Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins and of course, Ingram himself.
The latest name to be added in that group is Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
Not at IMG… He is on their schedule for a workout. He’s coming to them for a visit and a workout on their terms. https://t.co/RDAbJqgPNx
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 5, 2016
Labissiere is a seven-foot power forward or center who entered the season with plenty of hype, seen as a contender for a top-three overall draft position. Unfortunately, he was not very productive in his one season with the Wildcats, dropping heavily in stock. DraftExpress currently has Labissiere as its eleventh best prospect in the draft.
The Haitian-born Labissiere has outstanding length and moves well considering his size, boding well for a future as a pick and roll partner. The most enticing aspect of his skillset, however, is his soft touch from the perimeter. While he did not shoot threes in his lone season at Kentucky, the big man projects to be a good shooter in the pros.
Labissiere is still a raw talent and will have to work very hard in both the physical and mental aspects of his game in order to be a real contributor. He does have the tools to become a very good player in the future, but it will be a matter of putting them all together, which is never an easy task.
For the Lakers, however, this is another case of the team doing its due diligence (I have used this phrase so much in the past few weeks regarding the Lakers). They will not be drafting Skal with the second overall pick but depending on an unforeseen, unpredictable, and unexpected trade, or a desire to sign him in the future when he is more established, the work out can be a useful tool.