Put the coaching search on hold for a moment, as the Los Angeles Lakers are opening their practice court to a dozen NBA prospects on Wednesday.
Among the marquee names scheduled to take part are Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Noah Vonleh (Indiana), and Aaron Gordon (Arizona). With the Lakers picking at the no. 7 spot, they will likely not have any chance at the top talents of Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker, so none of those three will be present.
On most draft boards, Australian sensation Dante Exum expects to go at no. 4, so the Lakers have no business working out the scoring guard from down under. After the top four, the draft becomes a bit hazy with Smart, Vonleh, Gordon and Julius Randle (Kentucky) expected to go in the no. 4 to no. 7 range.
With the exception of Randle, the Lakers seem to have every probable draftee scheduled to come in and work out at the team facility in El Segundo. Doug McDermott (Creighton) will also be present, and a strong workout could move the 22-year-old up a couple spots on the projected draft board and into the Lakers’ direct line of sight.
McDermott was one of the standout players in the NCAA Tournament, and his four-year college career in the era of “one and done” is a rarity.
Wednesday’s pre-draft workouts will involve two sessions. The morning session will feature Ennis, Vonleh, James Young (Kentucky), Nik Stauskas (Michigan), Brendan Lane (Pepperdine) and Smart. The afternoon session will feature Zach LaVine (UCLA), McDermott, Elfrid Payton (Louisiana Lafayette), Rodney Hood (Duke), Gary Harris (Michigan State) and Gordon.
All participants expect to talk to local media following their respective workouts, and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak should be present for the workouts. After the sessions, Kupchak also expects to speak with reporters regarding the workouts and the ongoing coaching search.
The NBA Draft will take place on Jun. 26, and it remains unclear whether the Lakers will announce a new coach prior to that date.