12. Los Angeles Lakers

Well, as was the case last year we have lost the Lakers GM.  We fingered
him and was able to determine that he had not read his mail in several 
days.  After over 30 hours and several more mail messages it was determined
that he was lost and gone forever (well not quite).  In order to keep the
draft moving, Cliff Slaughterback (the Clippers GM) has offered to pick
for the whole city of Los Angles.  So the new Lakers GM is:

     Cliff Slaughterbeck .

Cliff has selected:

     Bobby Hurley, PG, 6-0, Duke.

The Lakers have been a team in transistion for the last two years,
ever since Magic Johnson retired after contracting HIV.  There are
still a few of the solid players left from the glory championship
years of the 80's, but the real superstars in Magic and Kareem are
gone.  Here's a look at the team right now:

CENTER: Vlade Divacs is a capable 7'2" big man with a lot of mobility and
touch.  He is perhaps the most versatile center in the game, with the 
demonstrated ability to play in both the low post and hit the three point
shot.  He is an above average defender and shot blocker, although he doesn't
scare the likes of Ewing or Olajuwon with his play.  As a backup, the Lakers
traded in March for Benoit Benjamin.  Benjamin is a flat out banger in the
low post.  He is an excellent defender and has a sweet jump hook from the
low post and can hit the jump shot out to 15 feet.  He has loads of talent
and almost no motivation.  If Benjamin ever does get it all together, he
has the talent to be an all-star.  As it is, he may well languish on the
bench for another few years.

FORWARDS: I treat all three of the Lakers forwards about the same, since to
some extent they are interchangeable and can all play both the small forward
and power forward slots.  At the end of the season, the starters were 6'9"
A.C. Green and 6'11" Eldon Campbell.  Campbell is very mobile and an
excellent shot blocker, but needs to add range to his jump shot on the 
offensive end.  Green is one of the best rebounders in the league and had
an outstanding year.  The bench is made up mostly of 6'10" former all-star
James Worthy who did pretty well coming off the bench as a sixth man.

SHOOTING GUARD:  The two position for the Lakers has been Byron Scott for
years, although this may be his last season with the Lakers.  Scott can
still fill it up from outside, but has lost a step on his drives and 
defensively.  In the same trade that brought Benjamin to the Lakers, they
also acquired the rights to Doug Christie, who played both the two and 
three spots at Pepperdine.  Christie is an excellent slasher who the Lakers
have tried asthe backup point guard.  Still, his natural position is either
here or a small forward, and I list him here.  The Lakers also have last
years first round pick of Anthony Peeler.  Peeler showed flashes at times,
but didn't see much playing time ahead of Scott.

POINT GUARD:  Ever since the mid 80's, the Lakers have been looking for a
good backup point guard for Magic.  They never seemed to succeed.  Finally,
they acquired Sedale Threatt from the Sonics and Magic retires.  Suddenly,
they needed another point guard.  Sigh.  The truth is that Threatt is not
really a point guard, but more of a two guard who has given the Lakers 
his best shot at the point.  Towards the end of this year, the Lakers gave
Christie some time at the point with some success as a backup point guard.


Bobby Hurley, point guard from Duke.  The Lakers have needed a real point
guard badly ever since Magic retired and Hurley fits the bill.  He is the
NCAA career assist leader and showed a nice touch from the outside this 
last year at Duke.  He is also an above average defensive player who gave
fits to opposing teams.  In this year of the strong draft, Hurley slips
out of the lottery to a team like the Lakers who can certainly use him.

I picked Hurley based on my perception of their needs, and furthermore, I'm
not a big Laker fan (I stepped in at the last minute).  Given that the best
point guard was available at this point, I didn't really think anybody else
would really fit here.  The Lakers have long term needs in the front court
with Worthy and Green aging slowly, but both can still play and I'd put
those draft choices off a year or two when Hurley is available right now.


Your guess is as good as mine, since I don't know what Jerrey West has in
mind.  One other intriguing player would be Vin Baker, but I think they need
a point guard more.


Trading Green or Worthy for another draft choice (mid first round) would be
a good idea.  Dump a large contract and valuable player to a team who can
seriously contend next year for a player like Baker or Doug Edwards who can
develop in the future.
Draft Summary:
1.  Orlando
    GM:   Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Chris Webber, PF, 6-10.  University of Michigan
2.  Philadelphia
    GM:   Dave Meeks 
    Pick: Shawn Bradley, C, 7-7. BYU
3.  Golden State
    GM's: Mike Moore 
          Terry Wong 
    Pick: Jamal Mashburn, SF, 6-8. Kentucky
4.  Dallas
    GM:   Curtis Hill  
    Pick: Anfernee Hardaway, SG, 6-7, Memphis State
5.  Minnesota
    GM's: Kevin Hansen 
          Toni Morgan 
    Pick: Calbert Cheaney, SF, 6-7. Indiana
6.  Washington
    GM's: The Crossjammer 
          Jim Nagle   
    Pick: J.R. Rider, SG, 6-5, UNLV
7.  Sacramento
    Pick: Rodney Rogers, PF, 6-7, Wake Forest
8.  Milwaukee       
    GM's: Brian Saunders 
          Morgan Edwards 
    Pick: Malcolm Mackey, PF, 6-11, Georgia Tech
9.  Denver
    GM's: John Exby 
          Rick Grubin 
    Pick: Ervin Johnson, PF, 6-11, New Orleans
10. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Alan Houston, SG, 6-6, Tennessee
11. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Acie Earl, C, 6-10, Iowa
12. L.A. Lakers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 
    Pick: Bobby Hurley, PG, 6-0, Duke

Next up:
13. L.A. Clippers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner