Lakers 2024 NBA Mock Draft: Los Angeles looks to rediscover magic of 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to win a second championship in six seasons. Could the NBA Draft unlock that ambition by restoring the 2020 vision?
2020 NBA Finals - Game Six
2020 NBA Finals - Game Six / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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Round 1, Pick 17: Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers

Ambitious Upside Comparison: Yao Ming

Realistic Upside Comparison: Ivica Zubac

The Los Angeles Lakers are approaching the 2024 NBA Draft with a reasonable list of options. One of the choices available to the Lakers could be the most dominant player in men's college basketball, whose lack of elite athleticism has many assuming that he can be written off as an afterthought.

In the event that Zach Edey slides to No. 17, however, one can't help but feel as though pairing him with Anthony Davis could yield tremendous results.

Edey is a physical force of nature, standing at 7'3.75" and 299 pounds with an absurd 7'10.75" wingspan. For perspecitve: He's just about the same height as Victor Wembanyama with a wingspan that's somehow longer than that of Rudy Gobert.

Some question Edey's fit in the modern NBA due to the fact that he isn't as agile as Gobert or Wembanyama, but he's a better athlete than advertised and his play on the court warrants a look.

Edey finished the 2023-24 season with averages of 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.6 offensive boards, 2.0 offensive boards, and 2.2 blocks per game. He also shot better than 70 percent from the free throw line for the third time in four seasons, thus showing the touch that makes him so intriguing.

Edey, the two-time defending National College Basketball Player of the Year who led the Purdue Boilermakers to the 2024 National Championship Game, knows exactly how to impose his will.

If the Lakers believe that dominance can translate to the NBA, then this would be a pick well spent.