After taking down Michael Jordan‘s freshman scoring record at UNC, freshman phenom Coby White turns his attention to the NBA draft, where the Los Angeles Lakers sit in prime position to scoop him up. The Lakers need reliable three-point shooting from the guard position and while White didn’t set the world on fire from deep at UNC, he projects to be a player that can knock them down at a respectable clip in the NBA.
White also showed himself to be a very competent ball-handler at UNC this season. The Lakers are already flush with playmakers heading into next season but having one of your spot-up shooters be able to put the ball on the hardwood and make plays should only help. Speaking of spot-up shooting, one of White’s most promising stats is the fact that he shot over 47% on spot-up jump shots, something that he should see heavy doses of playing alongside Lonzo Ball and LeBron James. Forced to create more as the point guard at UNC (rather than his natural SG position) White’s efficiency shooting the ball dipped a bit. Expect him to become a much more efficient scorer at the next level, especially if he winds up on the playmaker-laden Lakers.
Lakers NBA Draft Targets: UNC’s Coby White Among Best Fits
Desperate for outside shooting, the Lakers will likely plan to draft some help on that front should they not wind up dealing their pick for Anthony Davis. Should they hang onto their pick, the most likely position for them to choose would be at 11 – though they do have a 9% chance to jump into the top four. At this position, there is a very real chance that White is already off the board as NBA mock drafts have him going anywhere from fourth overall down all the way to the fringes of the lottery at 13.
However, should White still be on the board and the Lakers are stuck picking at 11, White would be an obvious choice to fill a glaring need. If the Lakers somehow find themselves picking in the top four, it is unlikely they wind up with Zion but could possibly come away with someone like Jarrett Culver. However, given how unlikely the chances are that the Lakers do move up in the draft order, Coby White looks to be a perfect, and realistic, fit.
Could The Lakers Trade Their First Round Pick?
Yes, there is a very real chance that the Lakers deal their first-round pick. By committing to LeBron James in free agency last summer, the Lakers have committed to a “win-now” mindset with the clock ticking on their star players championship window. Anyone outside of Zion Williamson in this draft would likely need some time to develop and contribute at the NBA level, setting things back a bit for James and co.
More importantly, the Lakers have been big players in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes and a lottery pick this season is almost certainly something that the Pelicans would want back in exchange for their superstar. The Celtics do offer a better haul of assets to make a deal with the Pelicans and GM Danny Ainge has had an eye on Davis for some time but should the two sides be unable to come to a deal, the Lakers are the obvious second choice.