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Lakers 2024 draft class | franchise sports media
Photo Credit: Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

FSM Breaking News: Lakers 2024 Draft Class

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com

 

The Lakers entered the draft with some questions to answer. They were able to potentially land the steal of the draft in Tennessee sharp-shooter Dalton Knecht when they selected him as their first-round pick. 

 

Lakers 2024 Draft Class | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

The Los Angeles Lakers had to wait for their pick, 17th overall, to make their selection in the 2024 NBA Draft. When Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and new head coach JJ Redick were on the clock, the basketball gods left them a gift.

That gift was a player projected to go in the Top 10 draft picks and has the perfect skill set that the Lakers need.

“And with the 17th pick in the 2024 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select,NBA commissioner Adam Silver said to the crowd at The Barclays Center attending the draft and Lakers Nation worldwide. “Dalton Knecht, wing out of the University of Tennessee.”

The selection was a surprise, as most expected him to be a lottery pick. Every year, some players rise and fall. This year, the Lakers were able to pick up the Tennesse Volunteer, which could be the steal of the entire draft.

Pelinka obviously would like the pick he was in charge of, but these statements aren’t just hyperbole or random biblical references that the Lakers GM often refers to in press conferences.

Knecht played at an elite level as a senior at Tennessee, averaging 21.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game and was named an All-American last season.

His 39.7% average from the 3-point land also excites Pelinka and the Lakers as they continue a franchise-long pursuit for a 3-and-D wing that can help space the floor and be a dependable knockdown shooter. The Lakers haven’t had anyone who can consistently hit catch-and-shoot 3-pointers since Danny Green in 2020.

If Knecht does play significant minutes this year, that would be a refreshing change of pace compared to the Lakers‘ most recent draft picks.

Last year, the Lakers‘ first-round pick, Jalen Hood-Schifino, only played in 21 games, averaging just 5.2 minutes. Hood-Schifino was also injured and underwent lumbar microdiscectomy back surgery, ending his season early. Max Christie, the team’s top pick in 2022, only averaged 12.5 minutes during his 2022-23 rookie campaign, and his sophomore season only saw a slight bump in play, averaging 14.1 minutes per game.

 

The Lakers benefit from the Knecht’s draft day fall, but it’s the best-case scenario for both. 

 

Lakers 2024 Draft Class | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Wade Payne/AP

Knecht is a 6’6″ wing who played two seasons at Northern Colorado before starring at Tennessee in 2023-24, averaging 21.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. He also shot 39.7% from 3-point range, so he will provide 3-and-D ability for a team that has been looking for that skillset for a while now.

After 23 years of age, Knecht should be able to come in and contribute right away for the Lakers, which is precisely what they are said to be looking for. His age is also the reason why he reportedly fell to the Lakers.

As a team looking to compete for championships right away, L.A. couldn’t afford to draft another prospect that needs a couple of years of development as they did last year. Knecht checked that box, as did others.

It’s a dream come true, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,Knecht said after being drafted. “It’s just a blessing, that’s all I can say. I’m lost for words, and I’m ready to get to work.

I would just say, playing with a chip on my shoulder. Every single time I touch a basketball or walk into a gym, I always feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Knecht told reporters at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the draft was held.

“It doesn’t matter where I’m at. It’s always going to be there, having that chip on my shoulder, feeling like I’ve been underrated for my whole life. It’s something I’m going to carry with me the rest of my career,” he told ESPN during their draft telecast.

Rob Pelinka addressed the media following the Lakers pick, saying that Knecht was a unanimous top-10 player across their scouting department and the franchise never expected him to still be on the board.

We would’ve never imagined a player as skilled and sort of perfect for our needs would be there for us as Dalton Knecht. We had him as a top-10 player unanimously across our scouting boards. I was at the SEC Tournament scouting him extensively and in my mind was like there’s no way a player like this can be available for us to pick on draft night,Pelinka told the media following the pick.

So across the board just couldn’t be happier. I was joking with Coach Redick upstairs that we found a movement shooter to match his skills as a player, and he already had his whiteboard up drawing up pin downs and ATOs and actions where he could run a movement shooter off a screen. So, I think his kind is already working on drawing up plays for Dalton. So, just really, really excited; the draft is an unpredictable process; you never know how it’s gonna go when the night starts. For it to end this way, we couldn’t be more thrilled,” the Lakers GM told reporters.

 

Keep coming back for all your Los Angeles Lakers off-season news. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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