Lakers' draft needs: Bronny James isn't the only prospect drawing L.A.'s interest

Los Angeles, CA - December 10: USC Trojans guard Isaiah Collier (1) drives the ball.

As the Lakers have moved ahead in their coaching search, a journey that now includes in-person organizational interviews with JJ Redick this weekend, the team still has been conducting workouts as it prepares for the NBA draft, which begins in less than two weeks.

Here’s a look at where things stand as the Lakers continue to gather information and host in-person workouts for picks No. 17 and No. 55:

The guards

USC guard Bronny James stands for the national anthem before a game.
USC guard Bronny James stands for the national anthem before a game against Long Beach State on Dec. 10. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The team invested most heavily in the backcourt in recent drafts, using a first-round pick on Jalen Hood-Schifino last season and a second-rounder on shooting guard/small forward Max Christie the year before. Austin Reaves has been the biggest developmental victory, and he’s a guard too.

The team generally has taken a “best available” approach, and that’s especially likely when picking at No. 17.

Devin Carter, a Providence guard, has seen his stock rise in the predraft process and probably played himself into the lottery. Two other high-profile players who could be there at 17 are USC guard Isaiah Collier and Duke guard Jared McCain. McCain’s shooting could get him drafted sooner, and Collier’s physicality getting to the rim has him under lottery consideration as well.

Read more: JJ Redick gets his shot with in-person Lakers interview this weekend

In the second round, there’s one guard worth monitoring above all others: Bronny James.

James worked out for the Lakers on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly. His athleticism, defensive potential and shooting at the Chicago draft combine have interested the Lakers, who could help make history by pairing him with his father, should LeBron James remain on the team (he can opt out and become a free agent this summer).

The wings

Colorado forward Tristan da Silva looks to pass during an NCAA tournament game in Florida on March 22.

The Lakers need two-way players on the wings. Provided none of the mid- or late-round lottery wings slide (Dalton Knecht, Ron Holland, Cody Williams, Tidjan Salaun), Colorado’s Tristan Da Silva has the kind of size and shooting that teams usually want out of a veteran college player. He seems like a potential “plug-in and play” prospect.

Baylor’s Ja’Kobe Walter has the kind of length and shooting touch you’d want out of a 3-and-D player. He and Da Silva seem to be the most likely players to land on the Lakers if they’re available at 17.

Read more: Plaschke: Laker legend Jerry West's final legacy sadly includes estrangement from Lakers

After his acquittal in court Thursday, the status of Illinois wing Terrance Shannon Jr. with NBA teams should receive clarity in the upcoming weeks. He has two-way potential.

Miami’s Kyshawn George has size and a nice shooting stroke with real room to grow as a defender. Kansas wing Johnny Furphy, Virginia’s Ryan Dunn, Wake Forrest’s Bobi Klintman, California’s Jaylon Tyson and Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman also should get consideration in the predraft process.

The bigs

Purdue center Zach Edey, right, controls the ball in front of North Carolina State forward Ben Middlebrooks.

The Lakers have genuine needs when it comes to size and depth.

Purdue center Zach Edey is one of the biggest — literally and figuratively — names in the draft after being the consensus college player of the year. While there are mobility concerns on the defensive end, Edey is scheduled for a workout with the Lakers before the draft and could be an option.

Indiana center Kel’el Ware has the kind of height (7-0) and length that should make him an effective rim runner while he shot it well from three last season. Baylor’s Yves Missi is a big-time athlete with a lot of potential at just 19, but he might require patience. Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II was one of the big winners at the combine after shooting the ball incredibly well. Probably more of a power forward than a center, he’s on a lot of radars in the first round.

UCLA’s Adem Bona impressed teams with his showing in Chicago at the combine and seems likely to be gone before the Lakers pick at No. 55.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on all things Lakers.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.