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

The Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 17 overall selection in the 2024 NBA draft. Finding a player with short-term value makes sense, but there are long-term projects with upside to consider.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the mix at the 2024 NBA Draft. In addition to having the No. 55 overall pick in the annual selection process, the Lakers have officially received the opportunity to find a key contributor at No. 17.

No. 17 may not be as attractive on paper as a lottery pick, but sitting just outside of the top 14, the options will be intriguing.

Many believe that the Lakers should attempt to find an incoming rookie who can make an immediate impact. With LeBron James entering his age-40 season and Anthony Davis turning 32 by the end of the 2024-25 campaign, it's easy to see why.

If the Lakers are thinking beyond 2024-25, however, landing a player who can help anchor the future of the organization should be a priority—and there is an abundance of upside players to consider.

It's important to note that every one of the players listed balances significant upside with clear reasons for skepticism. It's why prospects with the tools to rank among the best in this draft class are currently sitting outside of the lottery on the average big board.

Helping players realize their untapped potential is a big part of succeeding in the NBA Draft, however, and there are a number of individuals whom the Lakers should consider taking a chance on.

That all begins with a point guard whose size and well-rounded offensive game have them the proper refinement away from making a tremendous impact.

Carlton Carrington, PG, Pittsburgh Panthers

Easily one of the most captivating prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft, Carlton Carrington has serious upside. Standing at 6'3.75" without shoes, as well as 195 pounds with a 6'8" wingspan, Carrington is already above the average from a size and length perspective at just 18 years of age.

Carrington will need to improve his outside shot to realize his potential in the NBA, but the foundation has already been laid for a rise to prominence.

Carrington finished his freshman season with averages of 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.0 three-point field goals made per game. He shot just 41.2 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from beyond the arc, but he managed to convert 78.5 percent of his free throws.

That doesn't guarantee an increase in efficiency on jump shots, but players who are consistent at the line typically have a shot that can translate to other areas.

In terms of his style of play, Carrington keeps his eyes up court in transition and isn't afraid to pull up from midrange or beyond the arc. He has a solid first step, a strong handle, and a good eye for facilitating, which he utilizes to overcome some concerns about his speed and quickness—both of which are stronger in-game than the Combine showed.

Carrington needs to refine his jumper, but he has all of the tools to develop into a full-time starter with All-Star potential.