Lakers Rumors: Darius Garland leaves draft combine with possible promise  05/17/2019 19:00:00   Ronald Agers
Los Angeles Lakers Rumors

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Los Angeles Lakers rumors have picked up since the NBA Draft Lotter. The Los Angeles Lakers are still basking in their good fortunes of moving up to the 4th position in the NBA draft.

Now that the lottery is over, Lakers fans can finally move on (like for now) from the front office issues back to the hardwood where the players play.

With the NBA draft combine going on this week, the Lakers rumors will start with a variety of players that the Lakers will possibly select.

Well, lets start the draft speculation season with interesting information from Shams Charania from The Athletic.

Top prospect Darius Garland has left the NBA Draft Combine, fueling belief among some teams that he could have a promise in lottery, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

 Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019

With point guards being a premium need these days, it should be no shock to anyone that Garland would be a high draft pick unless he broke windows and backboards with his jump shot. Lets get past what the world already knows at this point.

When Adam Silver comes out to announce the New Orleans Pelicans pick at number one, it will be Zion Williamson.

When Adam Silver returns to announce the Memphis Grizzlies pick at number two, it will be Ja Morant. Now heres where things get tricky because the consensus pick probably never links up with what the New York Knicks are thinking. But I digress.

The consensus around the NBA will predict that Adam Silver will announce R.J. Barrett as the pick at number three. Which leads us to your Los Angeles Lakers at number 4.

The ESPN mock draft has Darius Garland listed to fall to the Los Angeles Lakers at their spot.

This pick highlights two different scenarios for the Lakers if Darius Garland is selected.

The first scenario will end the Rajon Rondo era at one year and Garland can play back up to Lonzo Ball or give the Lakers the option to slide Ball over to the two spot and both can share ball-handling duties.

This will prove very useful if the Lakers continue down the position-less basketball path that was used last year under Luke Walton. More playmakers will be perfect to speed up the pace that will benefit Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram on the wings.

The second scenario will give the Lakers the option of ending the Lonzo Ball era if a trade option presents itself this summer. Even though reports still say that the Pelicans will not do a deal under any circumstances, if they do, lets just say that Lonzo Ball will definitely be on the list of players that will be traded away. Darius Garland can be the immediate replacement.

The one thing that needs to be looked out for in this particular situation is Darius Garland is represented by Rich Paul, who is LeBron James agent. Any other draft, Lakers fans can say, so what? Not in this case. With the front office seemingly having to show the world that they are in charge, they may select a Jarrett Culver or DeAndre Hunter. Seems ridiculous to pass over a player that the Lakers really could use to contribute immediately but&

Tyronn Lue could have contributed immediately as head coach. Lets take an in-depth analysis of Darius Garland.

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Los Angeles Lakers Rumors

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I do believe that Darius Garland walked out of the combine on an understanding that he will be a high draft pick. That’s the best case scenario, now let’s flip the script here and see what the worst scenario is.

Maybe his knee was bothering him and his camp wanted to hide it. Not that it happened that way, but if a franchise like the Lakers had to make a slam dunk pick in this year’s draft (believe me folks they have no choice here), I would be doing my due diligence and checking him out thoroughly. The Lakers can’t afford to have him sit out a year with an injury.

This is not Philadelphia and this is not “The Process”.

The book on Darius Garland only lasted five games due to a meniscus tear in his knee. But according to NBA experts such as Seth Greenberg, Darius Garland is NBA ready and can thrive in today’s high paced NBA style of play.

Again we have to assume that the Lakers will continue with the uptempo style of last year. Lakers fans will have to wait on the style of Frank Vogel considering that he is known as a defensive coach. But let’s look at how Jason Kidd can be of use for this topic of analysis.

Jason Kidd probably will implement a fast-paced offense similar to the style that he played when he came out of college. As Seth Greenberg stated in the video above, Garland reminded him of Damian Lillard (a stretch here in my opinion) who is not afraid to put up shots with confidence. Something that the Lakers at times had to beg Lonzo Ball to do in his first two years.

At Vanderbilt, Darius Garland tallied up 16 points and 2.6 helpers in his five games. He shot well knocking down 53% from the field and 47% from the land of the extra point on nearly five attempts.

Let’s be clear here, after last year’s roster devoid of shooters, it would be good to go through one season without hearing how LeBron James had been surrounded by shooters his whole career and why the Lakers didn’t follow suit.

Garland is considered a good shooter off the dribble and in catch and shoot situations. Let’s forget the off the dribble scenario. If Garland can just catch and shoot the ball with any type of consistency, the Lakers should draft him. Garland will get guaranteed minutes this season because there was no one on the roster last year that could knock down a corner 3-point shot.

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Los Angeles Lakers Rumors

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Most would be skeptical of a guard coming into the league at a reported 6’3 and 179 pounds (6’5 wingspan). The question will be can Garland defend the quick guards that run rampant in the Western Conference?

You know the Stephen Curry‘s, Damian Lillard’s and that Russell Westbrook dude in OKC is just a few players that Garland will be dealing with.

But in this video, you will see that Darius Garland is a willing defender. In that case alone, he will be a welcome addition to a team that basically called it a season defensively after Lonzo Ball got injured.

Plus, it’s another reason to send Rajon Rondo and his $9 million dollar contract packing.

All rookies struggle on defense as they learn the NBA game. Hopefully, Frank Vogel brought his Indiana Pacers defensive playbook instead of the one from Orlando. That would help.

Plus, if Lonzo Ball is fully healed from that devastating ankle injury from last year and Brandon Ingram returns from blood clots, they can clean up some of Darius Garland’s mistakes. Both of them are good defenders and will boost the Lakers 29th ranked defense after Ball’s injury.

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