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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Round 2, Pick 55: DaRon Holmes II, PF/C, Dayton Flyers

As the Los Angeles Lakers look forward, thinking back to what helped the team win the championship in 2020 should be a priority. In doing so, a likely conclusion would be that being able to dominate teams inside would be a quality worth emulating.

With that goal in mind, an interesting option in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft would be Dayton Flyers star DaRon Holmes II—a 6'9" and 236-pound big with a 7'1" wingspan.

Holmes thrived in a generally traditional role in 2022-23, averaging 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.9 offensive boards, and 1.9 blocks per game. He began to show signs of range, however, shooting 6-of-19 from beyond the arc.

In 2023-24, the evolution of Holmes' game was placed on center stage as he recorded 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 offensive boards, 2.1 blocks, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 three-point field goal made per contest.

In addition to knocking down 32 three-point field goals, Holmes shot an efficient 38.6 percent from distance. Going hand-in-hand with that improvement was the fact that he improved his free throw shooting in each of his collegiate seasons, including a jump from 66.9 percent in 2022-23 to 71.3 percent in 2023-24.

A shot-blocking big who crashes the offensive glass and spaces the floor, Holmes is a player worth taking a chance on as the Lakers look for complements to Anthony Davis.