Kansas’ Cliff Alexander suffers knee injury in Lakers’ draft workout

Kansas' Cliff Alexander sits on the bench during a Jayhawks game on March 13.

Kansas’ Cliff Alexander sits on the bench during a Jayhawks game on March 13.

(Ed Zurga / Getty Images)

The Lakers can’t seem to escape the injury bug.

On Tuesday, Kansas freshman forward/center Cliff Alexander suffered a right knee injury during a draft workout with the Lakers.

A team spokesman wouldn’t speculate on the extent of the injury. Alexander got through the bulk of the workout before getting hurt.

The Lakers just finished the 2014-15 season with a 21-61 record, seeing players miss 339 games to injury.


The 6-foot-9 Alexander averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds a game with the Jayhawks.

Cal State Fullerton guard Alex Harris also was forced to bow out of his workout, suffering from an unspecified illness midway through.

The 23-year-old senior averaged 15.8 points and 3.5 assists a game last season.

The Lakers continued to look at prospects for the 27th and 34th selections in the 2015 NBA draft, to be held in New York on June 25. The team also has the second overall pick, but has yet to bring in any top players in the draft.

UCLA’s Norman Powell, a 6-foot-4, 22-year-old senior, was one of four to complete his workout with the Lakers.

“I was a diehard Lakers fan growing up. I love the Lakers. It would be a dream come true,” he said.

Powell averaged 16.4 points with 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists this last season with the Bruins. The Lakers were his fifth team audition.

“I have like 15 more workouts too go ... like 60% of the teams,” said Powell of his busy schedule. “I’m seasoned. I’m ready and I’m able to fit into any role.”

The Lakers also worked out UC Santa Barbara senior Alan Williams. The 6-foot-8 forward/center averaged 17.3 points with 11.8 rebounds a game for the Gauchos.

“I believe I’m the best rebounder in this draft class. I have a knack for it,” said Williams. “It’s something I love to do. It’s something I feel can translate to the NBA game.”

“I love how Tristan Thompson goes after the rebounds. I think he’s helping my draft stock a little bit,” he said of the Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center.

Despite growing up in Phoenix, Williams is partial to the Lakers over the Suns.

“I grew up a Lakers fan. My dad is a big-time Lakers fan. Shaq [O’Neal] is my all-time favorite player,” said Williams.

“I was always the biggest kid out there. I was never going to be Kobe Bryant or LeBron James,” he continued. “I had to try to dominate the way Shaq did, although I’m not as tall, I think I have that same desire to hit somebody, and be the physical guy out there.”

Gonzaga 6-foot-5 guard Byron Wesley would love to join the Lakers.

“That would be a dream come true. Kobe is my favorite player since I was a little kid. The Lakers have been my favorite team,” said Wesley. “The Lakers are the best team in the NBA. They’re coming off a tough year.”

After three years at USC, Wesley averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds a game with the Bulldogs.

Australian guard Mitch McCarron, from Metro State, called himself an underdog in the draft.

“I don’t think I’m as talented as some of the other guys they’re bringing in here, if I’m being honest,” said the 6-foot-3 point guard. “I’ve just got to show that I’ve got a lot of heart and I play hard. I think I’m a versatile guard. I obviously have to shoot the ball well if I want to have a chance.”

The 22-year-old averaged 20.2 points a game with the Roadrunners last season, shooting 49.0% from the field and 41.9% from three-point range.

McCarron is split on who to root for in the NBA Finals with two Australian players going against each other: Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors vs. Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’d be happy for both of them for different reasons. Bogut obviously fought through a lot of injuries ... I’d love to see him get one,” said McCarron. “Delly just gives his teams everything he’s got. I’d love to see him win as well -- even keel.”

The Lakers also brought in centers Joshua Smith of Georgetown (formerly of UCLA) and Matt Stainbrook from Xavier for afternoon workouts.

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