Oklahoma Sooners hotshot Buddy Hield believes he is worthy of the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Taking into account the Lakers’ history of draft day surprises, there’s a legitimate chance the team will select the 22-year-old at No. 2, NBA Draft rumors suggested.
The prevailing thought heading into this year’s draft is for the Lakers to take either LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram. While that’s still the most likely scenario, Hield has been impressing Lakers scouts in both his 2 pre-draft workouts for the team.
Los Angeles Times confirmed recent NBA Draft rumors, reporting that Hield has also been spending time with Kobe Bryant. The Laker legend has been teaching him about the fundamentals of footwork, spacing and knowing opponent tendencies. Hield took in everything he could from the close-door sessions with Bryant. In addition, the workouts made him realize how similar their games actually are.
“You know the Lakers are losing Kobe, they need a scorer, so why not? You know? Why not come in and fill the spot?” said Hield. “You know I’m a confident player and I’ve been under pressure my whole life just overcoming obstacles.”
Most NBA mock drafts, including Draft Express, predict the Lakers will select the 6-foot-9 Ingram at No. 2. To most NBA analysts, Ingram’s youth, outside shooting, defense and sky-high potential are just too good to pass up. Hield, meanwhile, believes teams shouldn’t rely on the status quo. Instead, they should assess each prospect independently.
“Everybody has their opinions on where they can go, but most of those guys never have touched a basketball,” Hield told Inside SoCal. “GM’s know what they’re looking for and which players suit their franchise the best.”
The Lakers already have two promising backcourt players in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. But with the hiring of Golden State assistant Luke Walton as the team’s new head coach, the pressure is now on the Lakers management to fill the roster with talented shooters.
Hield promises to be an instant contributor on offense while exhibiting the maturity most one-and-done players don’t have as they enter the league. It can be remembered that he led the Pac-12 in scoring with an average of 25 points per game in his senior season with the Sooners. He also won the John Wooden Award, the Naismith College Player of the Year Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy that same year.