5 Sleepers the Lakers should take a chance on at No. 17 in 2024 NBA Draft

With the No. 17 selection in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers need to find the perfect fit. The sleepers of the class may be the ideal targets.
Penn State v Indiana
Penn State v Indiana / David Berding/GettyImages
4 of 5

4. Tyler Smith, Forward

If the Los Angeles Lakers are in the market for depth, then finding players with length and athleticism should be a priority. It's not the only way to build a competent team, but adding a forward who can potentially defend multiple positions would be an ideal outcome.

After spending a season with the G League Ignite, Smith received a crash course on how competitive professional basketball can be—and what he learned could help him fill a void for the Lakers.

Smith has impressive physical attributes, standing at 6'9" and 224 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan and a 38.0" max vertical leap. He also ranked seventh among the prospects at the 2024 NBA Draft Combine in the lane agility drill and pulled out an impressive 32.0" standing vertical leap.

It's hardly hyperbolic to say that Smith has the physical ability to become a truly elite defender, and the Lakers would be justified in trusting their head coach to find that within him.

Smith told Jonathan Givony of ESPN that he patterns his offensive game after the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Michael Porter Jr., and Jabari Smith Jr. All three players are capable of scoring from multiple angles, with a general proficiency from beyond the arc.

With averages of 13.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 offensive boards, 1.2 assists, 1.0 block, 0.7 steals, and 1.4 three-point field goals made on .476/.364/.725 shooting during his G League stint, Smith showed his upside.

If the Lakers believe they can help him tap into it, it would be a pick worth making.