The NBA Draft is closing in and the Los Angeles Lakers have shown interest in several players. Most of the guys they’ve looked at have been guards with really strong shooting ability. It seems most likely that they’ll go after a sharpshooter.
However, there are other playmakers they could look at. According to Ohm Youngmisuk, the Lakers have interviewed BYU power forward Yoeli Childs.
Childs has been named First-Team All-WCC three times and was one of the most productive power forwards in college basketball. Based on how the mock drafts have looked, Childs appears to be a second-round pick. The Lakers only hold a first-round pick this year. They could reach and take him with the 28th pick or they could trade back into the second round.
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Lakers Have Also Interviewed Grant Riller
Childs isn’t the only guy the Lakers have spoken with recently. According to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors, the Lakers are among the teams that have interviewed Charleston Cougars point guard Grant Willer. Willer is more of a fit with what the Lakers need. He’s a point guard who averaged 21.9 points per game each of the last two seasons.
He’s not the elite 3-point shooter the team needs. He averaged 36% from the arc over his four years in college. That’s good but not great and the Lakers need a great 3-point shooter. That said, Willer is a guy who can score and create his own shot. The Lakers can use a scoring guard to come off the bench.
Unlike Childs, Willer may not be available when the Lakers pick. Rookie Wire has him getting selected with the 22nd pick by the Philadelphia 76ers which would put him out of the running for the Lakers. Obviously, it’s just a mock draft but there’s a really good shot Willer is off the board by the time Los Angeles picks.
Should Lakers Target Guard or Forward?
It’s interesting that the Lakers would interview Childs as they really don’t have a need at power forward. Anthony Davis is locked in as the starter and Kyle Kuzma is his backup. If they decide to bring back Marcus Morris, then they would have three guys who could play power forward. Now, that doesn’t mean it would unwise to add one. It’s very possible that Kuzma gets traded this offseason and it’s also possible that Morris walks. It could be smart to add a prospect like Childs if they believe they could lose those two guys.
However, even if the Lakers feel like they could need a power forward, that doesn’t change the fact that they already need a backup point guard. Rajon Rondo could walk in free agency and there’s no guarantee he can recapture playoff magic again. The Lakers could use a young guard with upside. They also have an interest in Tyrell Terry, who is a better shooter than Riller. There are some strong options in the draft but the Lakers should focus on adding a guard who can shoots.
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