The Los Angeles Lakers continued their draft workout process on Sunday. The most notable name among a group whom Luke Walton praised for being the hardest workers at their workouts thus far was Dennis Smith, Jr.
The North Carolina State point guard has a lot of intrigue surrounding him due to his seemingly limitless athleticism. According to Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, the Lakers recorded Smith as having a ridiculous 48″ vertical at their workout.
Apparently, Smith did enough to put himself on the Lakers’ radar. According to one report from Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog (who is also a contributor to the New York Times), the Lakers were impressed by the 6-3 guard:
The Lakers were “very impressed” with N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. during his workout Sunday, a source told ZAGSBLOG, and are reportedly “hopeful” of bringing in Washington guard Markelle Fultz this week.
The Lakers pick at No. 2 in the June 22nd NBA Draft and have been linked to several lead guards, including Lonzo Ball, who met with the Lakers last week, De’Aaron Fox, Smith Jr and now Fultz.
“They have some decisions to make,” the source said.
As always, it should be noted that the pre-draft process includes a ton of misleading reports, smokescreens, and general false information.
If true, however, this report would indicate that the Lakers are generally intrigued with drafting the NC State product. Holding the second overall pick, the team has been linked to Lonzo Ball with reports indicating that they are also interested in Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox. This is the first time we’ve heard of any legitimate interest in DSJ which should lead to some skepticism.
Regardless, if the Lakers love Smith as a prospect, they would have an interesting option. The freshman is currently projected to go 10th overall by Draft Express so taking him at number two would be quite a reach. However, if the Lakers are fully sold on his abilities and see him as comparable to Ball, Jackson, and Fox, then they have the opportunity to trade back in the draft to select him and gain another asset or two.
This all hinges on how impressed they truly were with Smith. This is just one report indicating their interest. It could be from the Lakers trying to drum up value for their pick by showing that they are willing to draft pretty much anyone or it could be from Smith’s camp trying to increase interest in the point guard.
Regardless, it’s an interesting topic to keep an eye on even if it’s unlikely that it will evolve past this singular report.