By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers had one pick in Thursday’s NBA draft and that was the 48th pick. The player that was taken by the purple and gold is Ryan Kelly out of Duke. Kelly is a 6-11 forward and averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in his senior season at Duke.
Mitch Kupchak, a University of North Carolina alumnus, said he had the Duke forward rated the highest from the players left on the board. Kelly is big man who can shoot the ball from mid range, three point line and can fit into Mike D’Antoni’s system. There has been problems with injuries for Kelly who missed 13 games his senior season because of a surgery he had on his right foot and had another surgery on his foot which kept him out of pre-draft workouts for the Lakers.
The Lakers have not had a first round pick to use since 2007 where they took Georgia Tech guard Javaris Crittenton with the 19th pick. The Lakers do no plan to make qualifying offers to Darius Morris, Devin Ebanks and Andrew Goudelock although Morris has been invited to the Lakers’ summer league team according to Kupchak. With the team not making those qualifying offer there will be space for Kelly on the team next season.