2014 NBA Draft Profile: Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine played in all 37 games as a freshman at UCLA and captured Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors. He finished the season making 48 three-pointers, the second-highest number of three-point field goals by a freshman in UCLA program history (trailing Jason Kapono’s school freshman record 82 makes in 1999-00).
On Wednesday, June 4, LaVine was one of 12 prospects to go through a pre-draft workout in front of Lakers brass at the team's practice facility. PHOTO GALLERY
Below is a transcription of his comments to assembled media members:
Q: On what he’s trying to prove in these workouts:
LaVine: People haven’t really seen me play the point guard position that much or handle the ball. They know I can score, jump and run. But for me, showing my facilitating abilities and being able to create will definitely help me a lot.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 5, 2014
Q: On his 46-inch vertical leap during the physical testing part of the drills:
LaVine: I was pumped a little bit, you know, the Lakers.
Q: On what he’s working on at the point guard position:
LaVine: I’m working on my reads off the pick and roll, getting the feel for it. I didn’t handle the ball that much this year, so getting my ballhandling and vision back.
Q: On his subpar second half of the season at UCLA:
LaVine: I’m 19 years old. You go through an up and down season. At the NBA level, I’ll go through an up and down parts of the season as well. As a basketball player, you have to deal with that. As long as the team is winning and we’re rolling, I’m fine.
Q: On defending at the next level:
LaVine: I feel like I have all the tools to be a great defender at the one position. I have the speed and quickness. I just have to get stronger, of course. But learning how to read the picks, going over or under them, the different types of defenses. I’m willing to do anything a team needs me to do. If they want me to go out and play straight defense and lock someone up, I’ll do that. If they need me to be a cheerleader on the bench, I’ll do that. If they need me to run the team, I’ll do that as well. I’m going in to win a spot.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 4, 2014
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LaVine finished in the top five in each category that tested strength and agility drills at the NBA Combine: lane agility time (10.42 seconds, first), shuttle run (2.80 seconds, second), three quarter sprint (3.19 seconds, eighth), standing vertical jump (33.5 inches, fourth) and max vertical leap (41.5 inches, fourth).
"Among guards, LaVine might have helped himself more than anyone. He was the highest ranked player to participate in the drills and looked great with the point guards. He shot the ball well in drills and stood out to be a step ahead of every other guard in both size and athletic ability. He ended up measuring nearly 6-foot-6 in shoes with a 6-foot-8 wingspan. He also tested as possibly the best athlete in the draft with a 41 1/2-inch maximum vertical and terrific scores in both the sprint, shuttle and lane agility drills."
Other NBA Draft Combine Measurements
Hand Length: 8.25 inches
Hand Width: 8.75 inches
Standing Reach: 8 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 6 feet, 8.25 inches
"NBA scouts love big, athletic point guards who can shoot the rock (who doesn't?) and LaVine has all of that -- explosive leaping ability, a tight handle and deep range on his jumper -- in spades. However, his production slowed down significantly as the season progressed into Pac-12 play ... LaVine desperately needs to add strength, and his questionable shot selection raises issues."