The Los Angeles Lakers are working out guard Ben Sheppard (Belmont University) and forward Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite) on Tuesday, along with several other prospects.
Here are the players the Lakers are having in for pre-draft workouts today:
Ben Sheppard – Belmont
Landers Nolley II – Cincinnati
Patrick Gardner – Marist
Omari Moore – San Jose State
Sidy Cissoko – G League Ignite
KJ Williams – LSU
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 20, 2023
The Lakers own two draft picks in the 2023 NBA Draft – the No. 17 pick in the first round and No. 47 pick in the second round.
In the latest mock draft from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Sheppard is projected to go at No. 31 and Cissoko is projected to be picked at No. 37.
Sheppard established himself as an impressive shooter at Belmont, and he actually grew up playing the point guard spot before growing and shifting to more of a two-guard role.
Sheppard really came on as a shooter in his senior season, but O’Connor did note that he didn’t shoot the 3 as well in his first three seasons at Belmont. Still, there is a lot to like about the young guard.
“Developed into a dominant shooter, making 40.4 percent of catch-and-shoot 3s as a senior, with many of them contested,” O’Connor wrote about Sheppard. “He’s also excelled at coming off screens or sprinting in transition.”
The Lakers could use some guard depth if they lose Dennis Schroder, Lonnie Walker IV or others in free agency, making Sheppard an interesting target if he falls to the Lakers in the second round.
As for Cissoko, he’s a two-way player that shot the ball well (37.8 percent) in catch-and-shoot situations from beyond the arc in the G League this past season.
O’Connor still classified him as an unproven shooter, but he raved about the forward’s defensive ability.
“Energetic defender who locks in off the ball,” O’Connor wrote. “He offers great rim protection and frequently picks up weak side blocks on unsuspecting players going up for layups. He had a play this season in which he blocked a lob in transition, fell down, got back up, and then swatted a layup attempt.”
It’s unclear if either of these players will fall to the Lakers, but the team clearly is interested if it is deciding to work them out.
The team is also giving Landers Nolley II (University of Cincinnati), Patrick Gardner (Marist College), K.J. Williams (Louisiana State University) and Omari Moore (San Jose State University) a look on Tuesday.
Nolley, who also played at Virginia Tech University and the University of Memphis, shot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc in his last collegiate season.
Gardner, a center, was extremely impressive in his lone season at Marist, averaging 19.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3.
Williams, another veteran player who spent five years at the collegiate level, shot 41.1 percent from 3 last season while scoring 17.7 points per game.
Finally, Moore – a four-year player at San Jose State – can do it all. He averaged 17.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game as a senior.
It will be interesting to see if any of these players impress the Lakers enough for the team to pick them in the 2023 NBA Draft.