With the 2018 NBA Draft fast approaching, the rumor mill is churning faster than ever. According to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, there is a “growing belief” across the NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers have given Kevin Huerter a first round guarantee.
It’s important to note that Woo is not one of the traditionally well-respected news breakers in the NBA despite working for a respectable publisher so as with everything, it’s good to take this with a grain of salt.
The Lakers have the 25th pick in the draft and there’s rumors that they are thinking about trades with the selection. Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that the Lakers are hoping to move up in the draft to potentially draft Zhaire Smith. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lakers are also looking at offers to move down in the draft if a team after them is in love with Huerter.
Huerter, a 6-7 guard out of Maryland, averaged 14.8 points, five rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game last season. It was recently reported that Huerter would miss two months with a hand injury, keeping him sidelined until training camp.
It’s possible that the Lakers did indeed give Huerter a guarantee to fill up their need for a backup point guard. It’s also possible that this is a smokescreen as much of the news around this time is. The Lakers had previously been reported to have promised Mitchell Robinson and last season, they were reported to be drafting Tony Bradley before they traded his rights for the picks that became Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant.
The NBA Draft is on June 21.