The 2022 NBA Draft is just days away and the Los Angeles Lakers are still doing their due diligence in hopes of finding a young piece to add to the team. The Lakers brought in another six prospects for a group workout on Monday with Senegal’s Khalifa Diop, who plays for Gran Canaria in the Spanish ACB League, headlining the players in the building.
Joining Diop is Croatia’s Danko Brankovic, who plays in the Croatian League for KK Cibona, Boston University guard Javante McCoy, Buffalo University wing Jeenathan Williams, Virginia Tech forward Keve Aluma and Florida State forward Malik Osborne.
Diop has a ton of upside as a high energy, rim-running big man. Listed at 7’1″ and 235 pounds, he has great size and plays extremely hard at all times. His offensive skillset is still a work in progress, but the raw tools are there and as a developmental project could be a player who pays dividends over time as a rim protector and finisher at the rim.
Brankovic is the other international big man taking part in the workout. Playing for KK Cibona in Croatia, he has also shown some intriguing flashes on both ends of the floor and averaged 1.4 blocks per game this season despite playing only 18 minutes per game.
Boston University’s McCoy was a Patriot League First Team selection who averaged 17.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals. He also shot 37.7% from t3-point range in his collegiate career.
Williams is another intriguing wing who was an All-MAC First Team selection as a senior after averaging 19.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals. He also greatly improved his shooting throughout his career, capped off by knocking down 45.1% from 3-point range on 4.6 attempts as a senior.
Aluma saw great improvement after transferring to Virginia Tech from Wofford. The 6′”9 forward was a two-time All-ACC Second Team selection who averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in two seasons with the Hokies.
Osborne was a solid role player for Florida State last season as one of their best defenders and a decent 3-point shooter, but did miss a large part of the season due to an ankle injury.
The Lakers have been open about their desire to acquire a pick in the 2022 NBA Draft as they currently do not own any. But if the team is able to get a pick, they have an excellent recent track record of unearthing some gems in the second round.
Jaden Ivey lists Lakers LeBron James as player he most wants to dunk on
While the Lakers are focused on the second round, at the top of the draft one of the best prospects is Purdue’s Jaden Ivey. Expected to go in the top five, Ivey could turn into one of the NBA’s best young suture stars if things work out and he already has his eye on making a highlight for the ages.
Ivey was recently asked which player he would most want to dunk on and his answer was Lakers superstar LeBron James. Even in his 20th season, pulling that off on LeBron will be an extremely difficult task.
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