By Bob Garcia IV @bgarcia90 on May 1, 2014
After going through the worst regular season in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers are headed to the offseason with the NBA Draft first on the agenda. They are expected to have at least a top-six draft pick or possibly better. With that said, here are five players the Lakers could select in the first round who would make an immediate impact on the team next season.
The talent freshman out of Duke is arguably the most NBA-ready player in this year's draft class. Parker possesses the most polished offensive game that will likely help him excel at the next level. If selected by the Lakers, Parker would immediately become a primary scoring option after Kobe Bryant and a healthy Steve Nash.
Andrew Wiggins is the player with the most upside in this year's draft class. Wiggins has great athletic ability and speed that he uses to attack the basket and cause havoc in transition, but needs to develop a consistent outside shot to take his offensive game to the next level. As a Laker, he would be seen as a franchise player who the team would build around.
In his lone season with Kansas, Embiid showed a well-developed low post game despite having limited experience in organized basketball. Along with his solid offensive game, Embiid is an outstanding defender with decent blocking ability and is mobile despite his size at 7-foot and 250 pounds. With the Lakers, the Cameroon native would step as the team's best defender and go-to option down low in the post.
Julius Randle may not have the upside of Wiggins or Parker, but he has a solid offensive game and is a great rebounder at his position. Randle is a mobile big man with the ability to shoot from mid range. With the Lakers, Randle would be featured heavily in the offense as a primary low post option if Pau Gasol is not retained this offseason.
If the Lakers can't get a top five pick, Marcus Smart would not be a bad choice at the sixth pick as he is a point guard who has plenty potential on both sides of the ball. On offense, Smart has the ability to get to rim and finish with contact. As for defense, he is a stout defender with quick hands (2.9 steals per game). He would be a solid pick.
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