Report: Lakers could be targeting 3 big men ahead of 2024 NBA Draft

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Three big men reportedly have been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft, including Purdue University star Zach Edey.

“Intel on this draft has been brutally difficult to nail down because of the lack of star power at the top and the relative depth throughout the first round, but three names have popped up more often than others thus far for the Lakers (in no order): [University of] Dayton’s DaRon Holmes, Purdue’s Zach Edey and Baylor’s (Baylor University) Yves Missi,” Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin wrote.

It’s possible that by drafting one of these big men, the Lakers would be able to use superstar Anthony Davis at the power forward position more in the 2024-25 season. Davis primarily played the center spot in the 2023-24 season, but he spent a lot of time at power forward – playing alongside JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard – when the Lakers won the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season.

Edey, the two-time Associated Press Player of the Year in college basketball, was a dominant force during the 2023-24 season, leading the Boilermakers to the national title game against the University of Connecticut.

A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Edey averaged 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game during the 2023-24 season white shooting 62.3 percent from the field. He would bring a ton of size to the Lakers frontcourt, but it will be interesting to see how he fares defensively in the NBA.

Teams may look to attack Edey in pick-and-roll to get him away from the basket and limit his shot-blocking prowess.

Holmes is another big man who scored the ball at a high level in the 2023-24 season, averaging 20.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Dayton Flyers. He shot 54.4 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from 3-point range on 2.5 3-point shots per game.

While Holmes isn’t as tall as Edey, he could be looked at as a solid complement to Davis, especially if he’s able to shoot the 3-ball at a high rate.

Missi is not a 3-point shooter, but he averaged 1.5 blocks per game for the Baylor Bears last season while putting up 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds a night.

The Lakers have the No. 17 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, so it’s possible that not all of these players will be available when it’s their turn to make a selection.

Regardless, it appears that adding depth in the frontcourt is a priority for Los Angeles in this draft.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.