Chad Ford, NBA Draft expert for ESPN, released his latest mock draft for the upcoming NBA Draft. After long predicting the Lakers to draft Julius Randle, Ford predicts the Lakers to be one of the teams scared off by the rumored foot injury Randle will need surgery for. Instead, he has the Lakers moving toward the point guard spot, nabbing Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State.
Given Randle’s potential foot issues, Smart becomes a strong possibility here. He goes back in for a workout this week against Elfrid Payton. The Lakers had both players in once already, but they didn’t work out against each other. Smart worked out against Tyler Ennis, and Payton worked out against Zach LaVine. The Lakers loved both Smart and Payton and want to see them head-to-head. It will be the third time the two have gone at it (they worked out together in Sacramento and Boston). Both of those other workouts were super competitive between the two, I’m told.
Most intriguing is the apparent interest the Lakers have in Elfrid Payton, a point guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Payton is an athletic guard who was named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season. Pitting Smart and Payton against each other, Smart is likely the more polished offensively, but Payton has more potential given his size.
The news of the Lakers possibly moving on from Randle is quite timely, considering they brought in Randle for a workout on Tuesday. To read more on his workout, check out our post recapping the Kentucky big man’s day in Los Angeles.