The UCLA Health Training Center has been quite busy of late as Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and Co. evaluate players ahead of the June 21 NBA Draft.
While L.A.’s own pick (No. 10 overall) will be made by Philadelphia as the result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade, they’ll be selecting at No. 25 via the trade deadline deal they made with Cleveland. The Lakers also hold the 47th overall pick.
This particular range in the draft has been quite kind to the Lakers over the last few years, as Asst. GM/Dir. of Scouting Jesse Buss and his staff have hit on pick after pick, like Kyle Kuzma (27), Josh Hart (30) and Thomas Bryant (42) last year, or Larry Nance Jr. (27), Ivica Zubac (30) and Jordan Clarkson (46) a few years back.
Here’s a look at the six players who worked out for the Lakers’ brass on Sunday:
Alize Johnson – 6-7, 217 – Missouri State
A versatile frontcourt player, Johnson earned All-MVC First Team honors in consecutive seasons for Missouri State, while leading the conference in rebounds (11.6) to go with 15.0 points, which ranked seventh.
The Williamsport, PA native has three brothers and four sisters, and played his first two seasons at Frank Phillips College, where he earned NJCAA All-American honorable mention honors prior to attending Missouri State.
Terry Larrier – 6-8, 185 – Connecticut
Larrier scored in double figures in 36 games at UCONN, including three 20-point games, towards an average of 13.9 points per game plus 4.8 boards in 34 minutes per game. He ranked sixth in the ACC in minutes, and made at least two three-pointers in 24 games, including a career-high five on one occasion.
Jared Terrell – 6-3, 215 – Rhode Island
A two-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Week and former A-10 All-Rookie Team selection, Terrell averaged 16.8 points, 3.5 boards and 2.4 assists with 1.5 steals in 33.2 minutes at Lamar Odom’s school. The 23-year-old finished eighth in the conference in free throw percentage (82.1 percent) and ninth in steals.
Moritz Wagner – 6-11, 241 – Michigan
The German big man had an impressive NCAA Tournament run to the Final 4, and was named to the NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team, plus the All-Big 10 Second Team, All-Big Ten Tourney team and the Most Outstanding Player. He led the Wolverines in points (14.6) and boards (7.1) as a junior, and missed only two games in his final two seasons.
After the Lakers workout, Wagner said he thought the NCAA Tourney run was a big help to him, and showed he can play well in big moments, something NBA teams don't have to wonder about. He noted that the biggest thing he'll have to show at the NBA level is an ability to switch onto guards and defend, and while Michigan didn't have its bigs do so, he did say he "feels confident switching."
If there's one thing Wagner think translates immediately from college, it's his shooting stroke, as he shot 39.4 percent from three as a junior. Wagner won a gold medal with the German National Team back at the 2014 Euro Under 18 Division B Championships, and reiterated Sunday that Dirk Nowitzki is his version of Michael Jordan.
Thomas Wilder – 6-3, 190 – Western Michigan
Wilder earned First Team All-MAC honors for a second straight season as a senior, producing 18.8 points, 4.4 boards, 4.3 assists and 1.9 steals to become the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in career points, games played, field goals made, threes made, free throws made, assists and steals. The Montgomery, IL, native finished second in the MAC in points, third in dimes and steals and scored in double figures in 97 career games, and never missed a single game in his career.
Kenrich Williams – 6-6, 200 – TCU
An All-Big 12 Second Team selection as a junior, Williams averaged 13.2 points, 9.3 boards and 3.9 assists plus 1.8 steals in 36 minutes. The NIT’s Most Outstanding Player in 2016-17, Williams ranked second in the Big 12 in minutes and boards, third in steals and sixth in assists as a sophomore. The Waco, TX., native spent one season in junior college in New Mexico.
Williams certainly filled up the stat sheet by doing multiple things that translate well to the NBA level, and said after the workout that his primary focus this offseason will be on his shooting, coming off a college of hitting 39.5 percent from three.
"Just want to get my shooting consistent," he said. "I want to be a consistent three-point shooter. If I can do that I think I'll have a long career in the NBA."