As the rumors and chatter surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft pick up steam on a daily basis, the Los Angeles Lakers remain a focal point of the conversation. Specifically, fans are curious whether the Lakers will opt to use the No. 4 pick which they were fortunate enough to land, or if they’ll include it in a trade package to acquire a star.
While Anthony Davis is the obvious target for Los Angeles, there’s no guarantee the New Orleans Pelicans will even consider a deal which allows him to immediately team up with LeBron James. Beyond that, rumblings involving interest in Bradley Beal and Kyle Lowry have also come to light, among other names.
And then there’s the option for the Lakers to keep the pick and add a young prospect. If that does wind up as the case, a popular name who’s come up often is former Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, and any speculation involving him was escalated this past weekend. After Garland posted on Instagram about the draft, LeBron liked the post and added a comment which grabbed plenty of attention.
While James’ comment that Garland’s dream is “about to become a reality” led to speculation that the Lakers could target the 19-year-old guard, this isn’t the only thing that’s fueled that belief.
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Lakers’ Darius Garland NBA Draft Talk
One of the biggest recent topics about the potential Lakers-Garland connection is the fact that the draft prospect is represented by Klutch Sports along with James. But beyond that, Heavy.com’s Jon Adams pointed out that Garland was at the Muhammad Ali documentary which LeBron and Maverick Carter produced.
As the above photo shows, Garland just so happened to be at last week’s HBO premiere of the Muhammad Ali documentary “What’s My Name?”, produced by James along with Maverick Carter.
SB Nation revealed the dominant stretch which Klutch Sports has been on recently, citing the fact that they signed Garland as one of multiple high-profile additions. They also have a number of talented players already on board, including John Wall, Ben Simmons and Eric Bledsoe, among others.
Darius Garland Stats & College Career
Garland is pegged as a top-five pick even after missing almost the entire 2018-19 college basketball season. The Vanderbilt guard played in five games before suffering a meniscus injury in his left knee, which he underwent surgery on to have repaired.
Over the five games which Garland played in, he posted averages of 16.2 points, 2.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds. It’s worth noting that those marks were impacted by the fact that he only played two minutes in the game against Kent State when the season-ending injury occurred.
While Garland had one poor game in which he scored just three points with seven rebounds and four assists, he impressed in the other three full games played. Specifically, in Vanderbilt’s fourth game of the season, a 79-70 win over Liberty, Garland tallied 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting while knocking down 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds and four assists for good measure.