Lakers Mock Draft: 3 prospects Lakers must avoid if they keep their first-round pick

The Los Angeles Lakers don't yet know if they will have a first-round pick, but if they do they need to avoid drafting these players at all costs.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers and son Bronny James, USC Trojams
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers and son Bronny James, USC Trojams / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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No. 2: Isaiah Collier, USC Trojans

While much attention has been paid by the Lakers, media and fans to a different USC guard, the Trojans began the year with the No. 1 high school player in the nation in Isaiah Collier. Then the games began, and Collier and company disappointed before he suffered an injury and was in and out of the lineup the rest of the year.

The 6'2" guard has a lot of potential but isn't built like a lot of successful NBA players. His wingspan is around 6'5" and he is not an elite athlete, but he is incredibly strong and uses that strength to score inside. His jumpshot looks good even if it doesn't go in consistently (33.3 percent from deep, 56.7 percent true-shooting).

It's easy to fall in love with a player like that, who can score in bunches and boasts all the natural talent in the world. The reality is that Collier had a really bad season and it speaks ot some major issues in his game -- careless turnovers, inefficient shooting, inconsistent defensive energy.

The closest physical comp isn't exactly a superstar, either:

The Lakers took a guard last year who was talented and could put up points, but whose path to success was extremely narrow. Drafting Collier would be repeating the same mistake, even if it is with a different kind of player. Collier could put things together and be a starting guard for the next decade, but it's much more likely things continue to fall apart as the competition increases and he finds himself out of the league in the next five years.

The Lakers need to nail this pick, either to add to their rotation or to include in a trade. Avoiding Collier is their best shot at doing so.