The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the winners of the NBA Draft lottery a few weeks ago, jumping up to No. 4.
Of course, it is in year that some are calling a “three player draft.” Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett are the presumptive first three picks for the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, and New York Knicks.
Ultimately we have no idea who will end up being the top players. No. 1 picks hit more often than not, but looking at the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors’ three transcendent stars—Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green—went Nos. 7, 11, and 35 in their respective drafts, while Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard was taken No. 15, as was MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Lakers’ fourth pick has some added weight because, assuming the team doesn’t trade it, the team has pressure to build a championship team around LeBron James as he exits his prime.
One major contender for the pick is Texas Tech two-way star Jarrett Culver. He worked out for the team today.
LeBron James was on hand for Jarrett Culver’s Lakers workout, something the Final Four star didn’t anticipate.
After the workout, he told reporters that the legendary forward mostly sat back and watched, but did give him some words of encouragement. He called the chance to work out in front of James “amazing.”
Here’s Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver talking about his Lakers workout, the predraft process and what it was like to have LeBron watch. pic.twitter.com/w5Itc8ncjo
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 1, 2019
Culver has been mocked to the Lakers in a few places, including a recent Sports Illustrated mock draft. The team could also target guys like Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, Duke wing Cam Reddish, and Virginia wing De’Andre Hunter. There are numerous options in the four spot.
It is unclear if James has particular interest in Culver, or if he just happened to be around, but he clearly has keen interest in the franchise’s direction with this pick.
Culver is coming off of an incredible season, in which he led Texas Tech to the national title game and its first Final Four. He averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on the year.