Los Angeles Lakers: How are all the Lakers’ draft choices doing?

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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2017 Draft

Lonzo Ball became the team’s third consecutive No. 2 pick of the draft. In some ways, he is a throwback pass-first point guard. He had his moments with the Lakers in his two seasons in LA, especially as a facilitator and on defense. But his shooting was erratic and he averaged just 10 points per game. And he missed 69 games in those two years to injury.

He also went to the Pelicans in the Davis trade. And he had to sit out eight early games with his new team, again raising questions about his durability. But since returning he hasn’t missed any other games and has become a vital cog in a fast-improving young team.

Ball is playing 32 minutes a game, sharing the backcourt with Jrue Holiday (one of the league’s most underrated guards) and sharpshooter J.J. Redick. He is using a better-looking 3-point stroke to connect on a career-high 36.6 percent of his attempts. Lonzo is averaging 12 points, 6.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game.

Overall: Ball is still only 22, so he may ultimately raise his game to a higher level. For now, he is a reasonably solid NBA point guard.

Kyle Kuzma, the No. 27 pick, was the player that Pelinka reportedly refused to include in the Davis trade. He shined his first two Lakers seasons, showing that he could score in many ways.

Unfortunately, several injuries have limited his playing time and his effectiveness in the early part of the season. He is still trying to adapt to his new role alongside James and/or Davis. There are times he looks ready to assume the role of the team’s third scorer, but he has not done so consistently.

Overall: Kuzma is a talented offensive performer who is still finding out other ways he can help the team. His defense and lately his rebounding have shown improvement, but he needs to be a more dependable scorer to be considered one of the league’s better sixth men.

Josh Hart was taken at No. 30, and immediately impressed coaches and fans as a hard-nosed defender who could hit the three. Magic Johnson once said he wished he had a team full of Josh Harts.

In two seasons with the Lakers, Hart averaged nearly 8 PPG while shooting 36 percent from deep. With New Orleans this year, he’s been a valuable sixth man and sometimes starter, averaging 10.6 points and 35.4 percent behind the arc along with a career-best 6.4 rebounds a game, and his defense remains stellar.

Overall: Hart may never be a star, but he is the type of glue guy that all winning teams need.

Thomas Bryant, a 6’10” center drafted at No. 42, spent most of his only Lakers season in the G League, where he made the All-Star team and showed ability as a stretch big. Most fans were quite surprised when the Lakers failed to exercise their very inexpensive option on him. The Wizards happily swooped in and signed him instead.

He is currently sidelined with a foot injury, but in 90 games with Washington the past two seasons Bryant has averaged 11 points, seven rebounds and one block per game while mostly starting but playing just 22 minutes.

Overall: Bryant is a promising 22-year old big who should have a solid NBA career in front of him if he stays healthy