Just about everyone believes that the 2016 NBA Draft truly starts with the No. 3 overall pick, because the top two selections appear to be a foregone conclusion at this point.
All signs have indicated that the Philadelphia 76ers will select Ben Simmons out of LSU with the No. 1 pick, leaving Brandon Ingram for the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2.
Even if the Lakers have their sights set on whoever is left after the first pick between Simmons and Ingram, they are still completing their due diligence with some of the other top prospects in this year’s draft class.
Ingram received the first team workout of that group, followed by California’s Jaylen Brown and Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere. Next up on the list appears to be Oklahoma scoring sensation, Buddy Hield. The Lakers reportedly have a workout scheduled with Hield, but he has been working out with arguably the greatest player in the franchise’s history already in Kobe Bryant.
Hield sat down with former Laker Rick Fox in an interview to discuss preparing for the draft and his journey to this point. When asked about training with the Lakers legend, Hield shed some light on what knowledge Bryant has passed along to him so far.
“Just mentally, being focused,” Hield said. “Lock in the little things, you know. Setting your man up, jabbing, how you can create space, you know. How to use the fadeaway jump shot; he teaches me how he squares his body when he uses the fadeaway jump shot, so little things like that helps me.”
Bryant noticed Hield’s and Ingram’s games when he saw them firsthand at the NCAA tournament back in March, and took a liking to both of them. If Hield wants to perfect the art of the fadeaway jump shot, he is certainly working with the right guy.
While anything can happen on draft night, it is unlikely the Lakers select Hield over Ingram with the second overall pick. However, Hield has been projected by some to go right after at No. 3 to the Boston Celtics. It will be interesting to see which team winds up selecting Hield, who seems to be a lock to go somewhere in the top-10 of the draft order.
Wherever he ends up, he will bring a scoring punch and sharpshooting ability that made him one of the most electrifying players in the 2015-16 college basketball season.