Report: Lakers working out another batch of intriguing prospects

Peter Dewey
5 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are working out another batch of prospects on Thursday ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Los Angeles has two picks in the 2023 NBA Draft — one in the first round at No. 17 and another in the second round at No. 47.

The Lakers could have some holes to replace on the roster this offseason with Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura all set to hit free agency. Even if the team brings most or all of those players back, the Lakers would surely love to add depth through the draft as well.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the prospects that Los Angeles is looking at on Thursday.

D’Moi Hodge, Guard, University of Missouri

Hodge played collegiately at Cleveland State University for two seasons before transferring to Missouri for the 2022-23 campaign.

Last season at Missouri, he averaged 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from 3.

An impressive 3-point shooter, Hodge is on the older side (24), which may make him a possibility for the Lakers in the second round of the draft.

He’s also a solid defender, recording 91 steals in the 2022-23 season, which was the most in the Southeastern Conference. He could be a solid off-ball guard option for the Lakers.

Caleb McConnell, Guard, Rutgers University

A five-year player at Rutgers, McConnell started 86 of the 142 games that he played in for the Scarlet Knights.

An elite defender, McConnell was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference.

As a bigger guard, he could be a solid two-way player at the NBA level if he improves as a shooter. Last season, McConnell shot just 20.3 percent from beyond the arc.

J.T. Shumate, Forward, University of Toledo

A two-time All-MAC selection, Shumate is another player who spent several years in college and played three seasons at Toledo.

Last season, he averaged 16.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 54.0 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from beyond the arc.

He transferred to Toledo from a Division II school, but he’s shown that he can knock down shots at a high level, shooting 43.6 percent from 3 in his career at Toledo.

Logan Johnson, Guard, Saint Mary’s College

A five-year college player (four at Saint Mary’s and one at the University of Cincinnati), Johnson was the 2022-23 West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The brother of former NBA player Tyler Johnson, Logan Johnson averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the Gaels last season.

Johnson could be a player that the Lakers look at for point guard depth, especially if Schroder walks in free agency.

Damion Baugh, Guard, Texas Christian University

Baugh played collegiately at the University of Memphis for two seasons before transferring to TCU.

He was pretty solid in the 2022-23 season, averaging 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from beyond the arc.

He’s also a solid athlete, as he jumped over James Wiseman in a dunk contest early in his college career.

The Lakers seem to be targeting veteran college players with this group, and Baugh certainly has a ton of experience, starting in 88 of his 117 college games.

Matthew Mayer, Guard, University of Illinois

Mayer is another five-year player, and he spent his first four college seasons at Baylor University.

He didn’t become a starter until his last season at Baylor, but Mayer can shoot the ball at a high rate (career 33.9 percent shooter from beyond the arc).

He’s also listed at 6-foot-9, giving him plenty of size to get his shot up over smaller defenders.

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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.