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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Justin Edwards, G/F, Kentucky Wildcats

A true upside play, Justin Edwards saw limited minutes during his Kentucky Wildcats tenure. The freshman swingman showed why some remain high on him as a potential lottery pick, however, and the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn't hesitate to do their homework in case he slides to No. 17.

Standing at 6'6" and 209 pounds with a 6'10" wingspan, Edwards has the physical tools to be a high-level two-way player in the NBA.

Edwards averaged just 21.5 minutes played per game during his freshman season with the Kentucky Wildcats. As such, he's as much of an upside pick as anyone in this draft class, as scouts have received a finite number of opportunities to watch him play.

In the limited time that Edwards was on the court, however, it became abundantly clear that the right NBA team could bring him in and help him become a high-level 3-and-D player.

Edwards shot 36.5 percent from beyond the arc and 77.6 percent from the free throw line during his freshman season. Considering he boasts prototypical measurements for a 2 and has adequate size for a 3, the fact that he's already a proficient shooter is nothing short of captivating.

A southpaw wing who checks all of the NBA boxes on paper, Edwards is worth taking a chance on as a potential long-term and longtime starter for the Lakers.