The Lakers are really going to do their due diligence on prospects and workout most of the consensus top 6 guys to make sure they don’t miss out on any talent. With the Lakers looking to possibly trade Jordan Clarkson, and wanting to have a better pairing in the backcourt with D’Angelo Russell, it seems pretty reasonable they are going to work out the top guards in this draft. This would include Dennis Smith Jr.
According to Shams Charania from the Vertical, the Lakers will be working out two more point guards:
“The Lakers plan to work out other top prospects over the next two weeks, including Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and N.C. State’s Dennis Smith.”
The former should be no surprise since there have been multiple reports saying that the Lakers really like Fox, but Dennis Smith Jr. is somewhat of a surprise. There haven’t been any rumors of the Lakers expressing interest in him to this point.
Smith played for NC State (North Carolina State) this past season and showed he still had plenty of athleticism left in his knee after he tore his ACL. He averaged 18 points and dished out 6 assist per game last year for the Wolfpack. His defense and effort at times were horrendous. He also has mediocre size for a point guard at 6’3 with questions about his length. These weaknesses are the main things holding him back from being a true contender for a top 3 spot in the eyes of most scouts.
The defensive side of the ball would be an issue with Dennis Smith Jr. and D’Angelo Russell both in the backcourt. The offensive side would be interesting with Smith penetrating and dishing the ball out with his good vision. His 3 point shot was a concern coming into the year, but he showed improvement. The developing three point shot would need to continue in order to work alongside D’Angelo. Overall, Smith would be an interesting fit, but it seems unlikely he’ll be drafted by the Lakers.
His only hope would be to show his outstanding athleticism to catch the eye of Pelinka and Magic.
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