Around the Association: 2010 NBA Draft Previews - Los Angeles Lakers: Derek Fisher the most-talked about Laker this summer?

21 days until the 2010 NBA Draft! I'm still one team behind. Oh so hard to keep pace this one-team-per-day, let alone catch up!

Today, we look at another team who won't be discussed much on Draft Day because, well, they don't really need to improve: the Los Angeles Lakers, who own the 43rd and 58th picks.

Let me be honest with you. This post is going to be a bit blah. That's what it's like when you're always a championship contender and the Draft means little in the grand scheme of things.

We GSoM'ers eventually want that, right?

Let's get it overwith. Here's who's committed (and not) by contract for 2010-11...

COMMITTED MAYBE OUT?
pg Derek Fisher

Jordan Farmar
sg Kobe Bryant
Sasha Vujacic
sf Ron Artest
Shannon Brown
Adam Morrison
pf Pau Gasol
Lamar Odom
Luke Walton
Josh Powell
c Andrew Bynum
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga

Fisher becomes a free agent in a few weeks, but I would expect the Lakers to re-sign him somehow, as he's that integral to the success of the Triangle offense. Farmar would need to have a qualifying offer at $2.87 million, which would make him a restricted free agent, or be let go, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. Brown has a player option. Mbenga and Powell's contracts end as soon as this season ends.

So it looks like, with low picks, there could be some needs at point guard, then every other position except shooting guard.

Let's take a look at Mitch Kupchak's track record in the Draft over the past five years:

  • 2005: Selected Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick, selected Ronny Turiaf with the 37th pick, selected Von Wafer with the 39th pick.
  • 2006: Selected Jordan Farmar with the 26th pick, selected Chiek Samb with the 51st pick. acquired 58th pick J.R. Pinnock from Dallas Mavericks.
  • 2007: Selected Javaris Critttenton with the 19th pick, selected Sun Yue with the 40th pick, selected Marc Gasol with the 48th pick.
  • 2008: Selected Joe Crawford with the 58th pick.
  • 2009: Selected Toney Douglas with the 29th pick. selected Patrick Beverley with the 42nd pick, selected Chinemelu Elonu with the 59th pick.

Not a whole lot going on there, especially in the last three years.

Let's take a look at the mock drafts:

No. 43 Pick

  • NBAdraft.net: Matt Bouldin (pg, 6'5", 214, Gonzaga, senior). A burly tough-nosed point guard who is like a shorter, ball-handling version of Matt Harpring. He's a pretty decent shooter and would fit well in the Triangle.
  • DraftExpress: Paulao Prestes (c, 6'10", 265, Brazil). I have not seen him play nor heard much Draft buzz about him. The DraftExpress profile on him can be found here.
  • Chad Ford: does not predict 2nd-round picks

At #43 and with a full slate of backup slots available, the Lakers should pick either someone they feel can run the Triangle or the best player available, of course. There are many quality names on either side of the 43rd pick on these mock drafts that would work out well.

The Lakers might seize the opportunity to stockpile some point guards, since Fisher and Farmar are not signed yet. To run the Triangle, this point guard needs to be cerebral as well as able to knock down the trey.

NBAdraft.net's pick, Bouldin, could very well fit that bill. So would Jon Scheyer of Duke. Sherron Collins of Kansas and Jerome Randle of Cal are a bit small, but maybe the size of the remaining Lakers roster makes that irrelevant. After all, Fisher's not that tall, either.

The point guards whom I do not think fit that bill: Armon Johnson of Nevada (no range on outside shot), Greivis Vasquez of Maryland (not high enough IQ), Mikhail Torrance of Alabama (no range, no IQ), and Jeremy Lin of Harvard (no range).

However, with Sun Yue as a precedent, the Lakers could very well select Lin to see where that goes with the Asian-American community. He does have a high basketball IQ and the long-range shot is definitely something that can be improved.

No. 58 Pick

  • NBADraft.net: Another point guard with Alexy Shved (pg, 6'6", 178, Russia). Goes along the lines of the above. I have not seen him play. DraftExpress has Shved going at #46.
  • DraftExpress: Pablo Aguilar (pf, 6'8", 210, Spain). Another one of DraftExpress's international picks. I have not seen him play. He is not on NBADraft.net's mock.

Not much to say here this deep into the Draft, especially for the Lakers. We'll just have to see, and most likely the pick will not pan out, if history's an indication.

NEXT: Updating the Boston Celtics Draft Preview with the 19th pick, and maybe the Oklahoma City Thunder

PREVIOUS:
BOS - Oh Danny boy! (19th, 52nd picks)
PHX - Shoring up behind Amare? (46th, 60th picks)
ATL - Calling all shooting guards not named Joe (24th, 53rd picks)
ORL - Improving while Dwight improves (29th, 59th picks)
DAL - Depends on Dirk and Dampier dollars (50th, 57th picks)
CHA - S-Jax stuck (no draft picks)
DEN - Just need Coach Karl back? (no draft picks)
CLE - If you leave (no draft picks)

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