The Los Angeles Lakers had a glaring need heading into the draft. They needed shooting, and they addressed it by selecting Moritz Wagner out of Michigan with the 25th overall pick and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk out of Kansas with the 47th pick. The Lakers also selected Isaac Bonga out of Germany with the 39th pick, but both Wagner and Mykhailiuk were heavily looked at.
Wagner played power forward at Michigan averaging 14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 0.5 rpg in his final year there. Wagner is a very good shooter and is an underrated rebounder. With his shooting skills, he can spread the floor and make open shots. He shot 39% from 3-pt range and 53% from the field. He will have to put on some weight if he’s going to grab rebounds against bigger and tougher competition in the NBA. He also isn’t the most athletic big man in the draft, but he’s no slouch either. His rebounding ability is an asset that can translate well in the league.
With the 39th pick, the Lakers selected Issac Bonga out of Germany (via 76ers). Bonga who has played overseas is a point-forward, who has some athleticism and some speed. His game is very raw and not fully developed quite yet. He does have some size at 6′ 10″ and has point guard skills for his size. He also has great footwork and has a high motor. The knock on his game is his shooting ability, and the inconsistencies in it. Most likely the Lakers will continue to develop him overseas or he might end up on another team.
The Lakers last pick was Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk out of Kansas with the 47th pick. Mykhailiuk is an exceptional sharp shooter that set a Kansas all-time record of 115 3-pointers made. He can make shots from anywhere on the floor and can also make good passes. At Kansas he averaged 14.6 ppg, 1.5 apg, and 3.9 rpg. He shot 44% from 3-pt range and 43% from the field. Mykhailiuk is also an excellent free throw shooter making 80% of them from the charity stripe. There is no question that the Lakers might have drafted the best shooter in the draft.
The Lakers also made a coupe more moves by signing undrafted free agents Malik Newman out of Kansas and Joel Berry II out of North Carolina. I expect Wagner, Mykhailiuk, Newman and Berry to be with the Lakers summer league team. Lakers certainly did their homework and addressed the issues in which shooting was a big priority. Lately, the scouting department has done an excellent job in picking players late in the draft. It will be interesting to see how these kids develop and how they will contribute for the Lakers.