The Los Angeles Lakers likely have their eyes set on a handful of difference-making prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft, as their No. 17 overall pick represents one of the most valuable assets the Lakers have had in the draft in years. Shooting around LeBron James will likely be the priority.
The Lakers may have gotten lucky this season. Not only did they manage to make it to the Western Conference Finals after their miracle run through the playoffs, but they ended up with a fairly high pick in a class that is loaded with young talent at both guard positions.
Even if they manage to bring back players like Lonnie Walker and D’Angelo Russell in free agency, the Lakers need to place an emphasis on young scorers with an above-average 3-point shot, preferably ones with versatility. It just so happens that a player who checks many of those boxes could fall into their lap.
RookieWire’s latest mock draft has the Lakers using their first-round choice on Brice Sensabaugh, a 6-6, 235-pound wing from Ohio State who has the potential to defend any one of four different spots on the wing. Considering what this team needs, a fringe lottery pick like Sensabuagh seems like a natural fit.
NBA Mock Draft: Brice Sensabuagh fits in with the Lakers.
Averaging 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while making more than 40% of your 3-pointers is an impressive enough set of resume bullet points, but the fact that Sensabaugh pulled that off in just 24.5 minutes per game speaks to two things that will help the Lakers.
First, it shows he can be an effective scorer in a limited time frame that does not need the ball a ton to make his mark. Second, Sensabaugh now looks like the type of player who could thrive in an expanded role after Ohio State chose to make him a much more limited asset.
Sensabaugh’s defense is good right now, but a coach like Darvin Ham could turn it into an excellent area for him. Sensabuagh’s shooting and versatility make him akin to a store brand version of Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby, as those same skillsets could make him a very important cog in the Lakers’ future plans.
LA might need to eventually move off this pick if LeBron James and the front office agree to go all-in on one last ride for a title, but they could forego a chance to add a versatile player with potential like Sensabuagh. Be careful now, Rob Pelinka and his associated cronies.