5 projected late lottery picks Lakers should steal if they slide to No. 17

The Los Angeles Lakers have a pick just outside of the lottery, but projected top-14 prospects could fall to No. 17. Who should L.A.gamble on?
Big East Basketball Tournament Semifinals
Big East Basketball Tournament Semifinals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Dalton Knecht, Tennessee Volunteers

Dalton Knecht is commonly listed as one of the 10 best prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft. Already 23 years of age, however, it's possible that general managers will opt to go the long-term development route with a younger player.

In the event that Knecht slides to No. 17, the Los Angeles Lakers should give serious consideration to drafting one of the best shooters in this class.

Knecht knocked down at least 36.1 percent of his three-point field goal attempts in each of his three NCAA seasons. He improved his efficiency across each of those campaigns, including 2023-24, when he transferred from Northern Colorado to Tennessee in the far more competitive SEC.

The fact that Knecht was able to move into a more difficult conference and still shoot better from beyond the arc than he did the previous season is an unbelievable feat.

Knecht knocked down a career-best 93 three-point field goals on 39.7 percent shooting in 2023-24. Standing at 6'5.25" without shoes and a strong 212 pounds with a 6'9" wingspan, the tools are there for the SEC Player of the Year to become a 3-and-D specialist in the NBA.

In terms of his athleticism, Knecht ranked No. 1 at the 2024 NBA Draft Combine in the shuttle run, No. 2 in the lane agility drill, and 12th in the three-quarter sprint.

Throw in a 39.0" max vertical leap and Knecht seems tailor made for the modern NBA.