Report: Kentucky big man among promising draft prospects Lakers worked out on Friday

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

With the 2023 NBA Draft approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers have been starting to bring in a number of prospects for pre-draft workouts.

On Friday, they evaluated another crop of prospects, including Oscar Tshiebwe, a big man from the University of Kentucky.

Tshiebwe is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and stands 6-foot-9 and weighs about 260 pounds. This season, he averaged 16.5 points and 13.7 rebounds a game while shooting 56.0 percent from the field for the Wildcats.

Although he earned All-American honors, he is expected by some to be a second-round pick in this year’s draft.

Tshiebwe is considered to be a retro big man, as he’s a widebody who is very strong, especially defensively and on the boards, and he has a pretty impressive wingspan. His offensive game is a work in progress, and he doesn’t appear to have any type of outside shot, at least at this point in his development.

The Lakers will be picking at No. 17 and No. 47 in the draft, and that will give them a real shot at getting a good player who may even be able to contribute right away. Their biggest needs are thought to be a two-way wing and help at the center position.

There is hope that 6-foot-5 Max Christie, who was a rookie this season, will be ready to crack the rotation next year, especially since he showed a surprisingly reliable 3-point shot when he got onto the court for L.A. But Christie being a consistent contributor is far from a certainty.

In addition, the team has some question marks as far as retaining some of their free agents, particularly guards D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.

Lakers insider Jovan Buha speculated that the team may let both Beasley and center Mo Bamba leave simply in order to save money, especially with an even more punitive salary cap taking effect for next season.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.