Lakers Work Out Guard With a Lot of ‘Upside’: Report

nico mannion

Getty Arizona guard Nico Mannion.

There’s a lot of chatter of what the Los Angeles Lakers might do in free agency or the trade market but not a lot of talk about what they might do in the draft. Despite shipping away a number of top picks over the years, the Lakers have actually done a very good job in the draft, even when they’ve selected later. Kyle Kuzma was the 27th pick in his draft and he’s become one of their top young players.

This year, the Lakers should focus on trying to find either a strong 3-point shooter and/or a backup point guard. According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the team recently worked out Nico Mannion, who is a point guard out of Arizona.

The fact that Rob Pelinka was in attendance likely means that there is some serious interest. Mannion was born in Italy but has spent much of his life in the United States.

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Evaluation of Mannion

Mannion only spent one year at Arizona so he’s going to be very raw. He’s probably not a guy who is going to see a lot of playing time if the Lakers were to select him. In their evaluation of Mannion, likes his upside but still thinks he’s a risky pick:

Mannion is going to garner plenty of attention due to his potential and offensive upside … He averaged a very solid 14 ppg and 5 apg as a freshman for Arizona, but he wasn’t exactly ending his season strong and could’ve used a potential berth to the NCAA tournament to rebuild the momentum he had as a draft prospect heading into the season … He needs more experience and time to polish his skills more, and some of his struggles Still he is a talented, savvy player who will be worth taking a chance on given his amateur pedigree and raw skill set …

Mannion shot around 33% from three in his lone year in college so that’s going to need some work. Going to a great team like the Lakers could be good for Mannion because he’d be able to sit back and learn from some of the best players in NBA history. While it might make more sense for the Lakers to go after somebody with a little more polish, Mannion would certainly be an interesting project.

Other Players to Watch in Draft

If the Lakers are looking for somebody with a little bit more polish, they should be very interested in Desmond Bane. The shooting guard out of TCU is an excellent 3-point shooter. He spent four years in school so he’s got a lot of experience. Bane is the type of guy who could have a role on the team as a rookie.

The Lakers have also been linked to Jay Scrubb, Tyrell Terry, Yoeli Childs and Grant Riler. Out of those guys, Terry is probably the best fit. He plays point guard and showed really good 3-point shooting ability during his lone year at Stanford.

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