The NBA Draft is less than one week away, but don't look for the Lakers to add anything significant to their roster. The Lakers don't have a pick until number 41, but they do have four second round picks. They pick at 41, 46, 56, and 58. Then again, they did pick Nick Van Exel in the second round.
In the 1993 draft, the Lakers selected George Lynch, fresh off an NCAA title with North Carolina, in the first round with the 12th pick, the third highest pick they have had since drafting James Worthy first overall in 1982. In the second round in 1993, the Lakers picked Van Exel a precocious point guard out of Cincinnati.
Van Exel took over as starting point guard right away, and in his five years as a Laker he averaged 14.9 points and 7.3 assists, and made an All-Star team in 1998. As someone who grew up during the Showtime era, and given the five titles since Kobe Bryant came along, this may sound weird, but I still have a soft spot for the young "Lake Show" teams of the mid 1990s, with Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, and Anthony Peeler. Van Exel was the leader of those teams, and of course hitting shots like this made him easy to root for.
Van Exel played 13 seasons in the NBA, scoring 12,658 points and dishing out 5,777 assists in his career. It's unlikely the Lakers will draft anyone of note with their four second-round picks this year, but then again Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks, second round picks last year, both made the team. If the Lakers can get anyone close to Van Exel, the best second round pick they have ever had, more power to them.
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