The 2020 NBA Draft might be the last thing on Los Angeles Lakers fans’ minds as most fans are hoping the team can return to action and finish what they started this season and win the NBA Championship.
However, the 2020 NBA Draft is important for the purple and gold considering all of the draft capital that the team is sending to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade. With Davis likely getting a new contract this offseason, the Lakers do not have much cap space to add to the roster.
They are most likely not going to get a third star or anything of that nature in the draft but they absolutely could snag a solid role player that fits the identity of the team.
If the season were to end today, or the current standings held if the season resumes, the Lakers would have the 29th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Using FanSpeak’s On the Clock NBA Mock Draft Simulator, we conducted a simulated mock draft controlling the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers select Cassius Winston with the 29th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cassius Winston is a very exciting prospect and is someone who could come into the NBA and give the Lakers valuable minutes off the bench right away.
Winston, a 6’1″ point guard, is a bit undersized but has the tools to succeed in the Lakers’ offensive system. He is a great facilitator and was really good in the fastbreak for Michigan State, something that is prevalent to the Los Angeles Lakers.
He averaged 6.4 assists per game in his four collegiate seasons while also averaging 14.2 points per game. He has valuable collegiate experience as well, playing in 139 games for the Spartans and starting 108.
A collegiate player who has four years of experience is huge for a team like the Lakers. These players typically have smaller ceilings than one-and-done type players but can often reach a productive level quicker. Look at how quickly Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart contributed in LA, while it took Brandon Ingram longer to reach that level and beyond with a higher ceiling.
What makes Winston a good fit for the Lakers is that he is someone who could provide the team a second ball-handler and facilitator if the Lakers look to move on from Rajon Rondo, which is not the worst idea in the world.
More importantly, he is someone that does not need the ball in his hands to succeed. While he is a great spot-up shooter with the ball, he is also someone who could benefit greatly from good off-ball movement in the NBA.
Winston is a career 43 percent three-point shooter in college, shooting as high as 49.7 percent in his sophomore season. He is not the best defensively and is undersized, which could cause some mismatches, but he fits the three-point role player identity of the Lakers.
An unselfish, experience college prospect who will come in and not only do whatever the Los Angeles Lakers need him to do but can thrive at it. That is a great selection for a 29th pick.