Well, we're almost there. In a few days, the NBA Draft will be upon us. Likewise, this first-round mock draft is reaching the finish line. The Los Angeles Lakers, in the midst of their own rebuild, netted a second first round pick last year by taking on Jeremy Lin's contract from the Houston Rockets.
While most concentrate on the Lakers' #2 overall pick and the accompanying top of the draft talent, the later pick seems to go to the wayside as it's hard to predict how the draft will fall. Unfortunately, in this mock iteration, even going BPA seems like a head-scratcher as many of the high upside guys I'd thought to have made it to this spot were taken just a few spots before.
Unlike the Sixers, the Lakers don't seem to be content with being patient (or super patient in the Sixers case) and letting their rebuild and team grow organically. Kobe Bryant lacks any more continues and looks to be on his last life as we go into this season. All signs and rumors seem to point to the Lakers trying to strike gold in Free Agency to supplement their team. That team, however, is still miles away from being competitive.
Unless Bryant discovered time travel or the fountain of youth, it's hard to believe that he'll be able to carry the team as he had for many years. Jordan Clarkson, while a great 2nd round rookie surprise, doesn't move the needle for me that much (at this point). Julius Randle is coming off an unfortunate season-ending injury and therefore is still a question mark. The only other player on that roster with a contract beyond this coming year is Nick Young.
With all that said, at 27th overall, the Lakers will take the hometown kid, Anthony Brown out of Stanford.
This isn't necessarily an ideal pick or situation for either party. The Lakers probably need a consistent defensive wing considering they're building a front court around Okafor and Randle. Brown is said to have the tools to become a solid defensive player in the NBA but has the tendency to get pushed around and lacks the focus to keep up with rotations and defend off-ball.
That said, something he's been able to hold his hat on is his shooting. Brown shot 45% and 44% beyond the arc in his junior and senior seasons, respectively. In a league that's trending more towards the 3, Brown should have a place moving forward, regardless of his deficiencies. For the Lakers, the dearth of a dependable wings or better than mid-to-low 30% shooting makes Anthony Brown an attractive choice for their second first rounder. Check out Draft Express for more specifics on the kid.
The Celtics are back on the clock and former-Pistons-now-Celtics GM Jake Fischer has the call.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Jahlil Okafor
3. Philadelphia 76ers - D'Angelo Russell
4. New York Knicks - Emmanuel Mudiay
5. Orlando Magic - Mario Hezonja
6. Sacramento Kings - Justise Winslow
7. Denver Nuggets - Willie Cauley-Stein
8. Detroit Pistons - Stanley Johnson
9. Charlotte Hornets - Kristaps Porzingis
10. Miami Heat - Myles Turner
11. Indiana Pacers - Cameron Payne
12. Utah Jazz - Frank Kaminsky
13. Phoenix Suns - Kelly Oubre
14. Oklahoma City Thunder - Bobby Portis
15. Atlanta Hawks - Sam Dekker
16. Boston Celtics - R.J. Hunter
17. Milwaukee Bucks - Trey Lyles
18. Houston Rockets - Jerian Grant
19. Washington Wizards - Devin Booker
20. Toronto Raptors - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
21. Dallas Mavericks - Tyus Jones
22. Chicago Bulls - Rashad Vaughn
23. Portland Trail Blazers - Kevon Looney
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Justin Anderson
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Delon Wright
26. San Antonio Spurs - Montrezl Harrell
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Anthony Brown
28. Boston Celtics - ???