With four second round selections in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Lakers chose Darius Morris (No. 41, Michigan), Andrew Goudelock (No. 46, College of Charleston), Chukwudiebere Maduabum (No. 56, Nigeria) and Ater Majok (No. 58, Sudan).
“We’re pleased with all four players, but we’re very pleased at 41 and 46, we think we’ve addressed a need on this team going forward,” said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. “You know what you get when you draft in the mid 40′s and the 50′s, which is a player that you hope makes your team. We thought those two players would be drafted much higher.”
After the draft, the Lakers ended up moving Maduabum – whose name Kupchak correctly pronounced – to Denver in exchange for a future second round pick. Kupchak added that Majok, a 6-10 power forward who most recently played professionally in Australia, will likely continue to play overseas.
Morris, a 6-5 guard originally from Los Angeles, was an All-Big 10 3rd Team selection as a sophomore after a season averaging 15.0 points, 6.7 assists & 4.0 rebounds. He led the Big 10 and ranked fifth in the entire country in assists, setting a school record for dimes in a season (235).
For more on Morris, CLICK HERE.
Goudelock, a 6-3 guard, stands as one of the most productive Division 1 scorers in history, ranking 39th all-time with his 2,571 points. He was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 23.7 points and 4.2 assists.
For more on Goudelock, CLICK HERE.
Well before the draft began, GM Mitch Kupchak and his staff knew that it was extremely unlikely that all four second round picks would actually be on the Lakers’ roster next season, not only due to a lack of roster space, but also because it’s simply difficult to find that kind of depth of talent in Round 2.
The strategy going in was to select at least one and preferably two guards with the two picks in the 40′s, and to use the picks in the 50′s to take international players, or players that would be willing to play (and develop) abroad.
Clearly, the Lakers stuck to their plan, and are happy to have potentially added to their back court for the 2011-12 campaign.
“We’re hoping that they both can make the team, and at the least, one player can make the team,” said Kupchak. “They’re both talented enough to make the team. They’re very different. Darius is really gifted with the ball in his hands, he does look to make a play and will look to pass first. He’s a younger player, so perhaps there’s more development to come.
“Goudelock is more of a combo guard, and will look to move the ball but will also take a shot. And he’s got great range, he’s a really good shooter. We consider them both ball-handling guards, but they are different in how they play the game.”
However, neither player is guaranteed to make the team — second round picks do not automatically receive guaranteed contracts as first rounders do — out of training camp, and even if members of the final roster could be stuck on the end of the bench just as talented 2010 second round picks Derrick Caracter (who did play some significant minutes early in the season) and Devin Ebanks were. The team would, of course, like to see one of their new players emerge and earn playing time.
That could depend, to an extent, on whether or not Shannon Brown picks up the option on his contract for the 2011-12 season, which L.A. won’t know for sure until June 30.