All 3 Lakers draftees were international players, first time in NBA history
The Los Angeles Lakers in the 2018 NBA Draft made use of their three selections by choosing to go take some young talent that each have international roots.
According to Pete Zayas of The Athletic, this also marked the first time in franchise history that the organization has chosen to go in the direction of all their draft picks being from overseas.
All 3 of the players that the Lakers selected yesterday were born & raised overseas. That's the first time that's happened in the draft in team history.
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) June 22, 2018
The Lakers made a concerted effort to take talent to fit the bill for what they are looking to build the team with moving forward. Their first selection was on former Michigan forward Moritz Wagner, who was regarded as one of the top big men in this year’s class. Wagner has shown the ability to be a reliable offensive factor with the ability to stretch the floor out to the 3-point line while being effective in pick-and-roll situations.
There are questions concerning his defense, but that is an area that has continued to improve while showing the mobility to guard both frontcourt positions if needed. Given how the league has moved in the direction of big men who can shoot effectively from the outside while operating well in transition, Wagner fits that style of play.
The Lakers had acquired Frankfurt Skyliners guard Isaac Bongain in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash consideration. The 18-year-old is a raw talent whom Los Angeles will likely allow to remain overseas to further develop his skill set and grow into his body before bringing over to the NBA. He already has international experience playing for Germany’s Under-16 team in the European championships, FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup, and also made the German Men’s National Team roster last November.
Lastly, the Lakers selected former Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk with the 47th overall selection in the second round. Mykhailiuk had spent four years at the collegiate level where he has developed into a strong shooter from the outside that saw him knock down a school-record 115 three-pointers this past season.