Lakers Need to Use Draft to Help Fix Issues

Photo by Al Bello | Getty Image

A changing of the guard, so to speak, is taking place in the NBA.

Older teams such as the Spurs, Celtics and Lakers are struggling decidedly to compete with youth & athleticism.  Teams with considerably younger talent are having their way and their athleticism is shining through in this years playoffs.

The outcome of this season quickly went from bleak, to on life support, to over for the two-time defending champions. Their historical pursuit of an unprecedented fourth trip to the NBA Finals went unsuccessful.

Former Lakers great Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson made the argument recently that the team has played together too long and needed to be blown up.

This current Lakers core is worn-down. Kobe Bryant is in need of a younger more consistent supporting cast, but a complete overhaul is unnecessary.

The core players Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher are in their 30’s. The changes the Lakers need to make start with adding more youth, athleticism and versatility.

In short the Lakers need more athletes.

L.A. needs to acquire a ball handling point guard capable of running the show and defending the league’s smaller quicker guards, a scorer/defender capable of getting his own shot, a shooter capable of consistently knocking down open jump shots and a back up center who specializes in rebounding and defending.

Most fans talk about trade possibilities, and free agent acquistions. But, the Lakers will need to also use the draft to improve the team.

The Lakers do not have a selection in the first round. However, they do posses a total of four second-round picks. Second round picks may not be as glamorous as a first rounder, but essential pieces to building a team.

The two best second round draft picks in history of the franchise have to be forward Rudy Larusso and guard Nick Van Exel.

Rudy Larusso drafted in 1959, the 6’7 220 lb. forward from Dartmouth averaged 12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and two assists in an eight-year Laker career that included 8,231 points and three all-star appearances.

Nick Van Exel drafted in 1993, the 6’1 170 lb. guard from Cincinnati averaged 14.9 points, seven assists in a five-year Laker career making one all-star appearance and scoring a total of 5,633 points.

Here are the most intriguing second round prospects of the 2011 draft that could add youth, athleticism, depth and production to the Lakers bench and put points on the board while the starters rest.

  • (41) PG Demetri McCamey 6’3 200 lbs. Illinois – A four-year starter for the Illini, McCamey is a big, physical lead guard who has deep range on his jump shot. McCamey took on the challenge of running the show during his senior season. He is a proven playmaker displaying the ability to get the basket. He posted a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio, shot 50% from behind the arc and averaged 17.2 points per game. The three best traits that he possesses are his shooting, penetrating and court vision.
  • (46) SF Jimmy Butler 6’7 215 lbs. Marquette – A three-year starter for the Golden Eagles, Butler is a smooth scorer who can score inside and outside, a solid rebounder, a lockdown defender that can guard multiple positions. Butler has good hops, quick feet and a relentless motor. Butler averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Butler shot 49 % from the field, 35 % from behind the arc and 78 % from the free throw line. Butler’s best trait is on defense as a lock down defender.
  • (56) SG David Lighty 6’6 220 lbs. Ohio State – Lighty was a key role player on the Buckeyes 2007 Final Four team. Lighty is a shooting guard who has the athletic ability and basketball intelligence to defend his position. Lighty is an unselfish player, a solid shooter with range. Lighty will remind you a lot of Raja Bell a good shooter ready for the next level. Lighty’s best traits are his shooting, ability to defend and basketball intelligence.
  • (58) SG Jon Diebler 6’ 6 205 lbs. Ohio State – Diebler is a lights out shooter with range. Diebler isn’t the best athlete, but his ability to shoot the basketball is what gets him noticed. Diebler is a terrific shooter with range, capable of consistently knocking down open jump shots from behind the arc.

A few other prospects to consider in the second round are SF Robin Benzing – Germany, SG Shelvin Mack – Butler, PF Nikola Vucevic – USC, SG Scotty Hopson – Tennessesse, PG Malcolm Lee – UCLA, C Reggie Johnson – Miami and SG E’Twaun Moore – Purdue.

 

Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EBSP2NHQGTSVYUHYANRNCEYDUM 123KID

    I dont know too much of those players, but ya I think its a must to start looking at the draft as a way to start building up the team. I think with Phil no longer being the coach, the next coach must start to utilize any younger talent we get or have, especially E. Banks. This is a great opportunity for younger guys to really soak up as much knowledge as they can from guys like Ron, Fish, Pau, LO, and of course Kobe. Obviously, its a true positive to use draft picks for trades or to really use them on the team. 

    What I would like to see the Lakers do is get a guy who can play multiple positions and can be molded mainly to be a PG. For example, if you took someone like a Jimmy Butler and molded him to be a PG, especially with his height and ability to go inside and outside, then that would be awesome. I mean if you have someone his size being a PG, then other PGs in the league would have such a hard time driving in and getting to the basket. Then secondly, I would look to add someone with the length and size of like a Serge Ibaka. Someone who is defensive minded on the and just wants to block shots. But then again, it would be super difficult to find that in the 2nd round. 

    • Born323playa

      How about Clay Thompson Pac 10 leading scorer and former laker star Mychal Thompsons kid. He seems like a good young player.

      • Timothybradley2012

        the machine was the best set shooter we had!! surround kobey,bynum,odem wit legit set shooters.blow up the rest. 

  • poop

    GET MALCOLM LEE!!!!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    what about the guy from the d-league tray johnson?  I think he can be a better guard than fish or blake.

    • rondo

      Trey Johnson deseves a chance if Luke Walton can stay in the NBA why not Tray? It’s really unfair Tray is a better player then a lot of players in the NBA.

  • 3StarAndTheSun

    The lakers don’t need another small forward and power forward cuz we already have Devin n Caracter. I think we need a Point guard, shooting guard and center.

    At PG we should take Shelvin Mack or Josh Selby (if they fall to 41 pick) oh yeah don’t forget JCritt is free agent.

    SG: Malcolm Lee or Scotty Hopson

    Center: Keith Benson or Graig Smith (both projected at second round)

    • rondo

      Josh Selby is a type of player that will be a better pro player then a college player. The Lakers should look at him very closely if Demetri McCamey is no longer on the draft board. Might be the surprise of the draft.

  • Timmytann9

    Dont forget we do have Devin Ebanks who showed potential and played pretty well in the very few minutes he had this season (before going down with injury). Derrick Caracter also isnt bad, he showed that he was willing to trim down his weight to get in shape for NBA basketball. Watching him work down in the low post, he is pretty damn strong and has a very good inside game. There could possibly be better out there, but we cant leave our upcoming Sophomore’s out. 

    • Timmytann9

      If anything, Id expect the Lakers to either draft or make a move for a young Point guard, Id love to see JCritt back also.

      • rondo

        Please get over JCritt. 

  • http://twitter.com/KingKongManu Manu Schreibmüller

    take Robin Benzing out of there. I am from Germany I watch him a lot. He is a solid young player and has got good potential, but the is far from NBA ready. He would be a bad Sun Yue for the Lakers! 

  • http://twitter.com/KingKongManu Manu Schreibmüller

    and i agree JCritt would be a great pick up!!!

  • yolwerin

    Diebler, Butler and McCamey seem like awesome picks. I didn’t watch any of them but their records are good.. It might help us.

    • rondo

      McCamey is a sleeper pick this guy is a smart player the kind the Lakers need.And he can really ball.

  • laffsatu

    the rookies need to stay off of gasols girlfriends….

  • big

    how about trading bynum to whoever gets the top pick. kyrie irving to the lakers? now that’s your future pg right there

    • rondo

      Why would you trade Bynum for Irving? Demetri McCamey can ball better and fits the Lakers better. You guys need to learn Basketball before throwing out those stupid trades. Your dislike for a player clouds your mind. 

      • BoutADamnDolla

        Trading Bynum for Irving isn’t even a thought…didn’t u just watch da playoffs??? No Bynum n Gasol at Center…dat would be a damn layup drill…but Rondo lost his damn mind if he think McCamey is better den Irving…wouldn’t mind grabbing him wit 2nd rd pick…McCamey, David Lighty n a sleeper who fell who be good use of our picks

  • rondo

    Lakers need to build the team around Bynum he’s only 23 years of age. I wonder what would happen, When the Lakers get a real point guard who knows how to get the ball into Pau and Bynum. Lack of a point guard has robbed Bynum of his game, along with Kobe Bryant and Fisher the bigs never got the ball. Fisher was Kobe’s official point guard.

    • Fish is sunk

      Everyone knows Fish could never make it in the league without his dog, Kobe.  Fish’s days are numbered, old slow and resorting to cheapshots on defense. 

  • Urbanlogick

    I agree with this assessment of added depth to the team but I think we need to take a chance on a athletic big guy(6’11+) who can do sum dirty work block shots get boards play D.

  • laffsatu

    as long as bryant keeps working his stats…bynum will never get a fair shake,only one sheriff in this town  boys.

  • http://www.wnba.com ksfjoasdf
  • Xurken

     As long as they get a new Kobe from the Second round we’ll be allright. But They should just start getting good small foward/point guards. Really, i dont know why we got the other two rookies in our team, and they’ll probably just try out for the team and be cut anyways. I expect a good pointguard selection out of here, someone who can say “Naw kobe, Imma lob it to Bynum !” ,  but rookies is rookies, But hey they can be traded too.

  • King? No Ring?

    As long as we have a selfish and immature diva leading the team, we will never have a true “team”  Kobe has got to grow up and play like a man instead of a little schoolgirl with hurt feelings. 

    • Hallwalter1234

      Fuc Off!

  • andy92_man

    we should trade three of the second rounders to move up to about late 1st or very  early 2nd round, so that we could draft either Nolan Smith or Darius Morris.. 

  • Lak3rs41nt
  • Jojo113 Jm

    i saw the draft combine today and the player that they need is jeremy tyler  hes an overseas player from san diego and hes only 19 and he was knocking down js nothing but ne and hes a center/pf 

  • Lilbmoe

    I think Howard and a couple younger players would help out a lot.Artest hould be traded or let go to free up money. He has be come to old to be a starter. Oldom still fits in this team next run. Fisher should come off the bench as a teacher.