Lakers look at draft prospects, including Rashad Vaughn, Richaun Holmes

UNLV's Rashad Vaughn, Bowling Green's Richaun Holmes among players Lakers put through drills before the draft

The Lakers held their seventh pre-draft workout session on Wednesday morning, auditioning six players that they might have a chance to get with the 27th or 34th picks on June 25.

UNLV's Rashad Vaughn is projected to be a first-round pick, while Bowling Green's Richaun Holmes is making a push to climb out of the second round after a strong performance at the NBA's draft combine in Chicago on May 12-17.

The team also looked at BYU's Tyler Haws, Florida's Chris Walker, Wisconsin Green Bay's Keifer Sykes and Florida State's Aaron Thomas.

Vaughn, a 6-foot-5 freshman shooting guard, averaged 18.3 points a game with the Runnin' Rebels last season.

"I'm more than a shooter," said the 18-year-old scorer. "I can create for my team. I can do it all."

Asked about the prospect of playing with Kobe Bryant, Vaughn said, "He was definitely my favorite player growing up. I'd probably sleep at his house every night. I'm serious, he'd have to kick me out."

Holmes averaged 14.4 points, eight rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game as a senior while shooting 41.9% from three-point range.

The 21-year-old power forward said he sees some similarities between himself and two high-energy big men in the NBA.

"I would look at [the Cleveland Cavaliers'] Tristan Thompson, definitely is a guy, just his motor, how hard he works," Holmes said. "Another guy, [the Denver Nuggets'] Kenneth Faried, him just working hard, making sure he outworks everybody on the court."

Holmes said he also believes he can stretch the floor with his outside shot.

Hawes played one season at Brigham Young before embarking on a two-year Mormon mission to the Philippines. After staying away from basketball, he successfully returned to college, averaging 22.4 points a game over his final three seasons.

"In college I was a scorer," he said. "I picture myself kind of like [Clippers guard] J.J. Redick -- a guy that if you need a bucket, you can go to him. You can run plays for him. He's a threat."

At 24, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard is one of the oldest players in the draft.

Walker is a 20-year-old, 6-foot-10 power forward/center who averaged just 4.7 points in 14.6 minutes a game for the Gators.  He shot 53.8% from the field but only 38.6% from the free-throw line.

"I'm just trying to show [teams] that I play with energy, bring heart to the team, run the floor and can finish by the rim, block shots [and] rebound," said Walker, who added that he's like a "not-polished Anthony Davis" of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Sykes, a 6-foot point guard, averaged 18.5 points, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals as a senior.

"When you just come into the Los Angeles Lakers organization ... it's a different feel. I'm on the same court that Kobe Bryant played on. You kind of get amped a little bit when you come here," he said. "It was probably was one of the better workouts that I've had."

Thomas, a 23-year-old shooting guard, averaged 14.8 points a game as a junior, shooting 45.7% from the field but just 23.5% from behind the arc.

"I'm a lockdown defender first," said Thomas, who also said he was happy at the chance to audition for the team. "It's the Lakers, I thought I was going to see Kobe. ... I can always look back and say I worked out for the Lakers."

The franchise also auditioned a pair of big men in an afternoon session on Tuesday. Former UCLA center Joshua Smith, who finished his college career with Georgetown, worked out against Xavier's Matt Stainbrook.

"Obviously coming out of high school, my college career didn't go the way that I planned, but everything that happens, happens for a reason," said Smith, a 6-foot-10, 350-pound 23-year-old.  "I just try to learn from it and try to mature, and get better every day.

The "smaller" 6-foot-10 Stainbrook, who weighed in at 283 pounds at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, is hoping to get a crack in the NBA.

"If I'm the 15th guy on a team, and I'm able to cheer people on and work my butt off in practice, do whatever," he said. "I'm realistic in knowing that I'm not a guy who is going to get a lot of playing time, if any playing time ... if making a team [at all]."

The Lakers also have the second overall pick in the draft, but have yet to bring in candidates for workouts. 

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
51°