Lakers draft target: Nick Smith Jr.
The Lakers are among the suitors for Nick Smith Jr in the draft. Smith Jr was much higher on draft boards prior to his injury-riddled freshman campaign at Arkansas,
LA holds the 17th pick in the draft, and Smith Jr could be a good fit.
Jonathan has the Lakers selecting Jett Howard. He says the Lakers are also very high on Nick Smith Jr and he could see them selecting him as well (assuming he’s there which he was in this mock). https://t.co/ZU6eMBZuEv— Matt (@SportsMatt12) June 20, 2023
He averaged 13/2/2, shooting 37.6% from the field and 33.8% from three. Smith Jr has room to improve his efficiency and become a more consistent shooter. He’s a solid scorer; if he can improve as a shooter, he will become an even better player.
He has great athleticism and excels at attacking the basket. Smith Jr also has great court awareness, making off-ball cuts and relocating to open spots on the perimeter.
He is a quality ball-handler and could become an improved playmaker with more time to develop.
Nick Smith Jr is going to be an annoying PnR defender in the league. His combination of length and quickness are really impactful when dialed in.— Tyler Wilson (@ProspectingNBA) June 20, 2023
NBA teams run a ton of ball screens, and NSJ has the tools you need to survive. T10 talent. https://t.co/Mv5Iizdq8i pic.twitter.com/k4APszB0CH
Smith Jr is a great defensive guard and has good size. At 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Smith Jr could be a terrific on-ball-defender with his size and lockdown opposing guards.
The Lakers point guard situation is all over the place this offseason. They are linked to many names this offseason, including D’Angelo Russell, Fred VanVleet, and Chris Paul.
LA needs to address its starting point guard situation but will also need a backup. They have interest in re-signing Dennis Schroder but may not have the cap room to do so.
Kevin has Nick Smith going to the Lakers. Also, Smith is a Kluth client so this one has a real possibility of happening if he falls. I’d absolutely love the pick https://t.co/AMLs339EHd— Matt (@SportsMatt12) June 20, 2023
If the Lakers draft Smith Jr, he could be a second or third-string guard for them this season. He is a combo guard that can play point or shooting guard.
Having Phil Handy as the skills coach gives the Lakers a huge advantage. Handy is great at helping players hit the next level of their potential.
LA has done a great job with draft picks in recent history, and it will be interesting to see how they approach the draft on Thursday.
If the Lakers keep the 17th overall pick and Smith Jr is on the board, he would be a great fit for the Lakers.