Outdated thinking may have caused the Lakers to pass on Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 draft, writes Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. The 7’3″ Latvian prospect held a private workout for L.A. shortly after an impressive showcase in Las Vegas. But instead of focusing on his multi-dimensional skills, the Lakers tested Porzingis to see if he could handle physical play as a power forward. They were disappointed with the results and opted for Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell instead with the No. 2 pick. Porzingis was a unanimous selection to the all-rookie team and has blossomed into a star in his second season, averaging 20.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
There’s more this morning out of Los Angeles:
- The Knicks’ visit to the Staples Center on Sunday should remind the Lakers of the dangers of trading young talent to get a star, notes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. He compares the current Lakers team to the Knicks of five years ago before they sent a package of players to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. The results have been mixed at best, with only one playoff series victory since the deal and three straight losing seasons. L.A. will face a similar choice soon with a talented young core but no obvious star to build around.
- Part of that young core, power forward Julius Randle, wants to become more of a vocal leader, relays Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. The 22-year-old impressed coach Luke Walton with the way he stood up to Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins Monday night. “I told him when he plays with that kind of confidence, it’s good for our team,” Walton said. “You need some toughness out there. You need somebody who is going to stand up, not back down and have your back. Julius has the physical ability to be that for us. I love when he gets into it.”
- Veteran forward Metta World Peace wants to become an actor and a coach when he retires, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. The 37-year-old recently co-wrote and appeared in an episode of “The 5th Quarter,” a fictional sports series that is available on go90.com. “It’s an easy decision to want to be an actor,” he said. “Any child’s dream is to be on TV. Now that I’m older, it’s something that still interests me. … I’ll do any role. It doesn’t really matter. As long as the production is good and the writing is good, I’m in.”