Lakers may have their next undrafted gem after recent workout

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 08: Jamarius Burton #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts during the second half of their game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second round of the ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 08, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 08: Jamarius Burton #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts during the second half of their game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second round of the ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 08, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Lakers front office has been far from perfect since Rob Pelinka took over in 2017 with the team experiencing some very high highs and some very low lows. That being said, there has been one constant that has consistently been great for the Lake Show.

Los Angeles has consistently been great in finding talent in unconventional places. Whether it be late picks in the first round, picks in the second round, or undrafted players, there are several examples of the team striking gold in this manner.

Austin Reaves and Alex Caruso are the two best examples of this phenomenon for the Lakers. Finding another undrafted player to live up to those standards might be tough but that is not going to stop the Lake Show. In fact, the team might already be circling their next undrafted gem from the 2023 rookie class.

Lakers work out Jamarius Burton, who could be the next undrafted gem.

Jamarius Burton is not a household name in the draft process and he is also not someone who is expected to be taken with the 60 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. Burton ranks outside the top 100 in just about every NBA Draft big board.

While in most cases that means that Burton won’t amount to anything in the league, the Lakers have proven that they can find great value in these kinds of players and Burton checks several boxes that fans can get excited about.

There are three important traits that could lead to Burton’s success in the league if he finds the right team: his age, his defensive ability and his motor/effort levels when playing. Burton is a combo guard who has four years of collegiate ball under his belt. That experience is going to help him transition easier into the NBA. A 23-year-old undrafted player has a much better chance of making an instant impact than a 19-year-old undrafted player.

Burton is the type of high-energy, good-defense player that the Lakers always seem to target late in the draft or in the undrafted rookie pool. It is the same traits that made Caruso succeed as well as caused the team to take a chance on the likes of Talen Horton-Tucker and Max McClung.

Athleticism and a high basketball IQ is a good combination to have, even if Burton is lacking in other areas. He needs to work on his jump shot as his finishing at the rim likely won’t be good enough to translate as well right away to the NBA. Burton was a 32.7% three-point shooter in college.

But that is something that the Lakers can work on and develop. Caruso was not a great shooter either until he turned in a season above 40% for the Lake Show. If Caruso can make those strides under the Lakers’ player development program, so can Burton.

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