Pro comparisons for 5 projected Lakers selections from recent mock drafts

Mock drafts have linked the Los Angeles Lakers to a variety of intriguing options. Who do those players compare to at the NBA level?
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The Los Angeles Lakers are in possession of the No. 17 and No. 55 overall selections in the 2024 NBA Draft. It's a compelling place to be, as the Lakers sit just outside the lottery and have a second-round pick that could be packaged to move up or acquire a talented player on an undesirable contract.

In the event that the Lakers hold steady and select two potential contributors at the spots they're in, however, the options will be compelling—especially in Round 1.

It's mock draft season in the NBA and the Lakers have inevitably been tied to some of the top prospects in this class. All carry some form of risk, which is why they aren't projected lottery picks, but the upside is clear across the board.

The question is: Just how much potential do these players have? Moreover, which NBA players do they project to mirror at the next level?

Tristan da Silva, SF, Colorado Buffaloes

Ambitious Pro Comparison: Cameron Johnson or Kyle Kuzma—depending on his shot

Realistic Pro Comparison: Saddiq Bey

Tristan da Silva has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers on several occasions. Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN projected da Silva as a fit at No. 17 in their May 31 mock draft, while Brian Brennan of NBC Sports did the same on June 10.

Considering how desperate the Lakers are for shooters and perimeter defenders, it should come as no surprise that da Silva has landed on the radar.

Da Silva is a versatile wing with the size, shooting ability, and underrated quickness—he ranked No. 2 at the Combine in the shuttle run—to thrive as a 3-and-D wing. Some have compared him to Kyle Kuzma, and that could hold weight considering how well-rounded of a scorer da Silva could become.

Da Silva finished the 2023-24 season in the 76th percentile in efficiency in terms of finishing at the rim and the 82nd percentile in midrange jump shooting. He also shot 48.4 percent on unguarded threes.

Unlike Kuzma, however, da Silva lacks consistency in hitting contested shots and converting off the bounce. As such, the best comparison for him sits somewhere between Saddiq Bey and Cameron Johnson as a player who can operate without the ball while having the physical tools to defend.

A potentially elite catch-and-shoot specialist at the next level, da Silva would fill an undeniable void for the Lakers in 2024-25 and beyond.

The question is: Despite his steady improvement as a shooter, is he more Bey or Johnson at the next level?