Lakers 2024 NBA Mock Draft: Projecting Los Angeles' picks if New Orleans defers

What if the Los Angeles Lakers keep their first-round selection at the 2024 NBA Draft? That question is answered in the latest Lakers exclusive mock draft.
Dayton v Arizona
Dayton v Arizona / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
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Honorable Mention: Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite

When discussing the future of the Los Angeles Lakers, one would be remiss to ignore the need to complement Anthony Davis down low. The Lakers’ franchise player boasts positional versatility between the 4 and 5 spots, which makes that process one with an abundance of options.

One such option that Los Angeles should consider in the 2024 NBA Draft is G League Ignite standout Tyler Smith, whose game could make him an ideal complement to Davis.

Smith is a long and wiry big man who likes to get the ball out near the perimeter and work it inside. He’s comfortable putting the rock on the floor for straight-line drives and uses his southpaw handle to keep opponents on their heels as they attempt to defend him.

When he’s not attacking the rim, Smith is a more than competent shooter, as evidenced by his impressive season in the G League in 2023-24.

Smith, 19, finished the G League campaign with an average of 1.4 three-point field goals made per game on 36.4 percent shooting from distance. He also shot a respectable 72.5 percent from the free throw line, which suggests that he’s a truly capable shooter and not just a flash in the pan.

In terms of who Smith is comparable to, he told Jonathan Givony of ESPN that there are three NBA comparisons he sees himself playing like—including one former Laker.

"Jabari Smith, Kyle Kuzma, Michael Porter Jr; those are the types of players I see myself playing like," Smith said. "Big wings who can space the floor and also play as small-ball 5s."

Coupled with his effortless leaping ability and a willingness to attack the offensive glass, Smith is a player who could have serious upside at No. 17.