The Los Angeles Lakers drafted a sharpshooter in the 2018 NBA Draft in Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and currently have no room to play him.
The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2018 NBA Draft in a much different position than previous years. It was the first time in five drafts that the Lakers were not a lottery team and had a late first-round and two second-round picks.
The draft was before LeBron James signed with the team, however, it was common knowledge that the team was going to pursue and land a superstar. Thus, this draft was more about complementary pieces than it was about getting a franchise guy.
With that in mind, the Lakers drafted two sharpshooters, which should have signaled right away that James was coming to LA. In the first round, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Moritz Wagner.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
Wagner, a big man out of Michigan, is the prototypical stretch four and represents a new wave of centers that are coming in the league. While he plays more like a power forward, he has the size at nearly seven feet to play center.
The other notable sharpshooter the Los Angeles Lakers selected was Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk out of Kansas.
Mykhailiuk was the perfect pick for the Lakers to make. As we have seen in past drafts, the Lakers love to go with experience with later picks. Mykhailiuk has just that, with four years at Kansas and three years in the Ukrainian SuperLeague prior to that. He is still just 21 years old.
Mykhailiuk set Kansas’ school record with 115 three-point shots made in his senior season while making 44.4 percent of his threes. That is impressive.
Having a sharpshooter like Mykhailiuk is huge for the Lakers. Past LeBron James teams have always had sharpshooters coming off the bench and Mykhailiuk could be one of the best young guys in the league to fill this role.
Heck, in the preseason finale against the Golden State Warriors Mykhailiuk dropped 22 points to lead the Lakers to the win. While it was just the preseason, Mykhailiuk led a Lakers team that rested most of its stars against a Warriors team that only rested Kevin Durant.
The reason why Mykhailiuk was playing in this game was simple: he is not really going to get much playing time this season. While he will naturally get some situational minutes off the bench, the Lakers are too deep for Mykhailiuk to have any sort of role in his rookie season.
That makes Mykhailiuk the 13th guy for the Lakers and at best the 12th. That is not someone who traditionally gets minutes on an NBA team.
However, the Lakers certainly do realize how Mykhailiuk is and can be and will likely pave a way for him to get playing time later in the season. With the team likely needing to make some minor improvements at the deadline, the front office will begin to discuss who will be traded.
Having Mykhailiuk in their back pocket will make that decision easier to part ways with either Caldwell-Pope or Lance Stephenson, knowing that Mykhailiuk can come in and provide quality minutes as the bench’s marquee three-point shooter.
I just think that shot is too good to ignore and in today’s NBA that is all you really need to be somewhat relevant.
It will be that shot that gets Mykhailiuk some minutes early in his career and keeps him from falling out of the picture. After that, it will be his all-around play that convinces the Los Angeles Lakers to use him in a prominent bench role.