As San Antonio marches one step closer towards the foregone conclusion that many have had since the All-Star break, draft fever is officially sweeping the country. Indy Cornrows are hosting a mock draft with blog writers acting as GMs, and Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold is representing the Lakers. The always lively comments section over there has been bubbling with suggestions on how best to acquire Jermaine O'Neal, who to draft at 19, who to use the MLE on, etc. The one question under-addressed is what to do with the Lakers' two second round picks at 40 and 48. As a comment, I began putting together a list of potential second rounders I'd like to see in a Laker uniform, before quickly realizing it would be long enough to deserve its own post here at Plissken.
Because it's so much harder to project how guys are going to go in the second round, I'm going to write this under the assumption that any guy Draft Express has going in the second round could potentially be there at 40. With that qualification in mind, here's some players I'd like in approximately reverse order:
- Gabe Pruitt - I have no real expectation that he'll be on the board at 40 still, but DX inexplicably has him going 44th. I've heard people talking about using the first round pick on him which I'm not buying at all, but if he's around in the second round it seems like a pretty easy call.
- Arron Afflalo - I know it's the sentimental pick, but his perimeter defense was among the best in the NCAA. He's also a decent outside shooter with a lot of versatility. You never know with most guys in this range anyway, so why not take the chance on the local favorite and pair him back up with Farmar.
- Zabian Dowdell - Brown Recluse has already claimed Zabian as his sleeper, but in this post-Smush era, any lengthy combo guard with terrific D and a solid outside shot has my ears perked. I realize at 40 you typically shouldn't draft for need, but our need for someone who can defend the point and drill 3s is huge enough that I wouldn't mind spending all 3 picks on guys that could potentially fill that niche with the hopes that at least one of them pans out.
- Alando Tucker - I feel like every draft there's the guy who was so good in college but everyone passes on him because of things like positional concerns, and then it turns out that, not a fluke, the guy's a true competitor. Anyway, Alando single-handedly was the (albeit overranked) #1 Wisconsin team, so I don't think it should be a surprise if it turned out he could play at the next level.
- Petteri Koponen - To be honest I know very little about this guy, but a 6'5" PG with great athleticism from Finland? Sounds intriguing.
- Sean Singletary - This is who I hope we take the chance on with the 48th pick. Concerns about his size, health, and ball-handling (all valid) have him slipping off the board, but I watched this guy torch too many teams to not think he has a shot at making it. You have to respect anyone with the balls to take this shot (I'm just sad this clip doesn't have the into-the-camera sneer):
Just to show how hard it is to predict who's going to be around in the second round, if I had used guys going in the second round at NBADraft.net instead of Draft Express as the requirement, other guys I would have included would be Sean Williams, Jared Dudley, and Taurean Green. DX projects all these guys in the first round, but a draft day tumble is never out of the question. Sean Williams in particular is worth paying attention to: Jones on the NBA makes the case that the Lakers should use the 19th pick on him. DX has him going at 30 while NBADraft pegs him at 36. Is it possible that concerns about his work ethic and off court behavior scare teams away from his Tyrus-like leaping ability and he slips as far as 40? I say highly unlikely, but that doesn't mean you can't cross your fingers.