NBA Draft: Noah Vonleh tops LA Lakers' board

LA Lakers Staples Center

The Indiana power forward is reportedly the Lakers' top target in the NBA draft

The Los Angeles Lakers are picking in the NBA Draft lottery for the first time since they took Andrew Bynum in 2005, and they may have hopes of drafting another game-changing big man this year.

Indiana's Noah Vonleh is top of the Lakers' big board, according to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, ahead of Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart and Arizona forward Aaron Gordon.

Vonleh is a power forward with an intriguing set of skills. He is a good athlete with three-point range, and he could certainly slot into the starting lineup for the Lakers next season.

He would offer immediate impact in a frontcourt that struggled last season and could be without free agent big man Pau Gasol next year.

Vonleh is likely to be coveted by a number of teams in this year's draft, and he has often been projected to be taken by the Utah Jazz at pick number five. The Lakers will be hoping that Utah pass on the big man, or else they may have to trade up to get him.

If the Lakers cannot grab Vonleh at seven, they may turn their attention to Smart.

The point guard, who Ding claims is second on the Lakers' board, has been compared to star shooting guard Kobe Bryant for his competitive nature and all-encompassing will to win. Smart was picked apart and scrutinised all year at Oklahoma State, but he has the drive and determination to be an NBA star.

He was invited to a second workout in Los Angeles on Friday after dominating against Tyler Ennis in his first visit. If he impressed against Elfrid Payton he may become the Lakers' top target.

Gordon, meanwhile, is one of the best athletes available in this year's draft. He is a physical freak with an NBA-ready body, and if he develops his offensive skills he has the potential to be an All-Star down the line.

There are other options that could become available at number seven. If enough teams are scared off by Joel Embiid's broken foot the Lakers may be tempted to pounce on the man who was the consensus number one pick just a week ago.

Of course, the Lakers may decide to trade down if they are not in love with any of the prospects available when they are on the clock, or they could elect to trade out of the draft entirely.

With Kobe Bryant looking to win his sixth championship in his final two years in the NBA, the Purple and Gold may look to send their pick elsewhere in exchange for a veteran player who can help them win sooner rather than later.