When an NBA franchise invites players back for a second workout, it’s an indicator that they’re high up on the team’s respective draft list.
Marcus Smart, Elfrid Payton, and Aaron Gordon return for their second workout. Nik Stauskas and P.J. Hairston are first-timers to the Lakers draft workout. Noah Vonleh and Doug McDermott could be considered glaring omissions. Usually, players are matched up by skill level. The player listed to match up with Gordon isn’t mentioned.
If three-on-three settings are used, it’ll be interesting how Smart and Payton workout against each other. They are familiar with each other, playing on Team USA’s FIBA basketball teams in the past. Marcus Smart was a starter, but Elfrid Payton played considerable minutes as well. Playmaking will be a premium, especially with a shooter and a paint player on the team. Nik Stauskas and P.J. Hairston get a chance to highlight their top NBA abilities, perimeter shooting.
Aaron Gordon is a favorite of Byron Scott. Our own Jacob Rude wrote Byron Scott as a leading coaching candidate. It’s possible that he’ll aim for a player that works best for his system. Byron excelled with great points guards in the past. He got Jason Kidd to the Finals against the Lakers in the early 2000′s. He built up the New Orleans Hornets and got Chris Paul to lead a tough playoff contending team.
Elfrid Payton is rising up the draft charts, especially with his father playing football.
If athleticism runs in Payton’s genes, perhaps the toughness will come with it.
P.J. Hairston may not be considered a lottery pick, but his experience at UNC and at the NBDL level will give him a head start against the 82-game rigors of the NBA.
It’s only one week until draft day. This will be the most important workout for the Lakers yet.