Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Kansas guard Mykhailiuk selected by Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Draft

Kansas guard Mykhailiuk selected by Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Draft

When the Lakers brought the MI center in for one of two workouts earlier this month, the two 2017 draft picks made their feelings known to Rob Pelinka and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Wagner worked out twice for the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka, a fellow MI man.

Wagner is watching, but said it's nothing he's going to worry about. "They focus a lot on playing fast, and that's something I'm really excited to do".

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"He might be the best pick-and-pop player in this draft, which is something the Lakers could definitely use", Lakers.com reporter Joey Ramirez said.

Much like his Kansas teammate Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk who was the Lakers' final draft pick, as well as their first round pick Moritz Wagner, Newman is a great shooter, hitting 41.5 percent from 3-point range previous year. Even if LeBron doesn't come to the Lakers, Wagner could add another front-court shooter to pair with Kyle Kuzma.

What we noticed in all the games we went to in person is, he is a tremendous passer and great screener in pick-and-roll situations, coached by John Beilein, who is a terrific coach. "It's a dream very, very far away when you're over there, and it's exciting to be here now".

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He was joined at the draft by his parents, several German friends and the MI coaching staff.

Newman was the Jayhawks leading scorer during the NCAA tournament, scoring 21.6 points per game including a career best 32 points in the regional final against Duke.

The 2018 draft marked the end of the Lakers' penance for the 2012 sign and trade in which they acquired Steve Nash. He joined Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to have 20 points and 15 rebounds in a national semifinal.

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"Both of (them) were elbowing Earvin and I that this guy would be fun to play with", Pelinka said. Knocks on his defense and wingspan put him in the second round, but the Lakers were impressed by his skill in their private workout. "We're just thrilled with the way the night ended for us".

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