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Lakers choose Dalton Knecht No. 17 in NBA Draft

Taking Dalton Knecht of Tennessee with the seventeenth general alternative in Wednesday’s NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers turned the primary crew to take a consensus All-American since 2017’s Lonzo Ball, who was picked with the second general choose.

“In my mind, there is no way a player like this will be available for us to pick on draft night,” mentioned Lakers vp of basketball operations and normal supervisor Rob Pelinka. “Across the board, just couldn’t be happier.”

After beginning his school profession at Northeastern Junior Faculty in Colorado and taking part in two seasons for Northern Colorado within the Large Sky Convention, 23-year-old Knecht had one season with the Volunteers, averaging 21.7 factors on 49.9 p.c taking pictures (39.7 p.c from three). The 6-foot-5, 212-pound wing led Tennessee to the NCAA match’s Elite Eight in March, scoring 37 factors in an elimination loss to No. 1 seed Purdue.

The SEC participant of the yr was projected to go No. 6 to the Charlotte Hornets in ESPN’s mock draft, which was launched simply earlier than the primary spherical, and Pelinka claimed the Lakers have been shocked Knecht was nonetheless obtainable since their inside draft board put him within the high 10.

“If we had the 10th pick in the draft, we would have taken him,” Pelinka mentioned to reporters. “So, to get that value at 17 is really extraordinary.”

“My draft night fall mirrored my basketball upbringing,” Knecht acknowledged. As a highschool senior, he obtained no Division I scholarship provides.

Knecht addressed reporters at New York’s Barclays Heart following his draught, saying, “Every time I touch a basketball or walk into a gym, I always feel like I got something to prove; and it doesn’t matter where I’m at, it’s always going to be there and have that chip on my shoulder for feeling like I’ve been underrated my whole life.” “So, it’s going to be something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career.”

The hiring of Knecht is the primary important transfer by the Lakers after the hiring of JJ Redick as head coach. Knecht’s mobility taking pictures skills, in line with Pelinka, remind him of Redick as a participant.

After the Lakers submitted their draft choice to the NBA, Pelinka claims that Redick wasted no time in making ready performs to be run by Knecht on the whiteboard within the draught room.

“That’s really exciting,” Knecht mentioned to the assembled media upon studying of Redick’s emotions. “At Tennessee, I watched a lot of JJ Redick with Coach Rick Barnes and was impressed by the way he moves and paces himself, as well as his ability to create space. So hearing that is incredibly thrilling, and it’s going to be really unique.”

LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star, talked about Knecht when addressing the rising reputation of ladies’s collegiate basketball in early April, just a few days after Tennessee’s match run concluded.

“We watched that Purdue-Tennessee game because of Zach Edey and Knecht,” James mentioned on the time. “Players, depending on who they are, will drive the attention when it comes to viewership.”

Knecht claimed he almost didn’t believe what James acknowledged was true when he first watched the video.

“I remember that clip,” Knecht instructed reporters. “I woke up and rolled out of bed, thinking it was a hoax because so many people were texting me.” I instantly mentioned, ‘There’s no means. And after I seen the video, it merely made me grin. My dad and mom additionally contacted me and knowledgeable me of the scenario instantly.

“So that’s going to be something unique. And it’ll be wonderful simply to share the court with Anthony Davis and Bron. Bron is one of the greats. So, it’s going to be quite wonderful.”

Whereas Pelinka was blissful together with his crew’s efficiency, he confessed that L.A. had canvassed the league for offers previous to Wednesday however had been unsuccessful. The Lakers have three first-round draft picks, together with this yr’s at No. 17, obtainable in any potential commerce.

“We explored every upgrade we could to make our team better,” Pelinka instructed me. “I believe that if you surveyed all 30 general managers in the league, transactions would be more difficult as a result of the new CBA framework. As a result, I believe there is less opportunity to make such major changes than there was under the previous system. But it didn’t stop us from looking at everything and finding methods to put ourselves in a better position to succeed. But I believe that this decision alone will give us a significant lift, and we are delighted about it.”

The second spherical of the draft will likely be positioned on Thursday. The Lakers possess choice quantity 55.

Hashtags: #Lakers #choose #Dalton #Knecht #NBA #Draft

2024-06-27 20:24:49

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