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Lakers select Chinemelu Elonu with the 59th pick

UPDATE (9:30 pm): A little quoteage from Mitch Kupchak on Chinemelu Elonu--Elonu

On their plans for Elonu:  "Our next step is summer league.  Guys that are drafted in the 50s, they're not going to sign long term guaranteed contracts.  So he'll have a chance to come to summer league, and we'll evaluate him (there) and if he's as good as we think he is, than (he could) come to camp and (maybe) end up with a contract." 

 
On Elonu's position in the NBA: "He's definitely not a small forward.  He's a low post player.  Long, athletic, plays very hard.  He's a wonderful person. We had him in and worked him out.  He's a great kid, plays hard.  He's developing, and every year he's getting better and better, so we think he has an upside.  In the NBA is he a center?  Yeah, he's long enough to guard some centers, but some of the centers in this league, no he couldn't guard them."

Kupchak also indicated Elonu is close to the 6'10" at which he's listed (measurements always have some give-or take to them) and that the Lakers had him ranked in the 30s on their board, so they were happy to get him at 59.  That doesn't mean he'll make the team- it's a long shot- but still a nice little perk. 

BK

If nothing else, my fiancĂ©e will be excited about this pick.  Like Chinemelu Elonu, she also attended Texas A&M.  From there, however, the similarities rapidly decrease.  She's not much on the hardcourt.  He's a 6'10" lefty F-C and Nigerian native that Jay Bilas really digs.  The ESPN analyst described the kid as a hard working, athletic rebounder with a particularly good nose for the offensive glass.  He also thought Elonu could have been a first rounder next season, had he stuck around College Station.  A potential "steal," even.

Granted, it's hard to know if Elonu will even be a part of the Lake Show's future.  But that the very least, Mitch Kupchak can look Bilas in the eye.

More info from BK in El Segundo ASAP.

AK

(Photo: AP)

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

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This draft was mostly a salary dump to help retain TA, LO, SB.

Good moves by Mitch. This was really a weak draft similar to the 2006 draft (this draft is stronger than that one was but not alot because of Blake Griffin mostly).

We get future picks in drafts that could be stronger and money as well. Looks like no need to force Kobe to take a pay cut huh?

If this dude is what they say he is then hey its all good. Can NEVER have enough rebounders (most underrated part of basketball) and usually a good rebounder is a sign of potentially good defense.

Grade B since we didn't get much but if it leads to TA/LO/SB to ALL wearing Purple and Gold this will have been a great draft after all.

I hope all this money is going to our FA and not to the poker table. C'mon JB get er done!

I guess congratulations are in order since you have a fiance, she must not read TJ Simmers's articles.

Still have to deal with the guard situation -- long term. D-Fish is my guy, but each year he loses another half step and soon he will be in the "valued back-up" slot. There really is no viable guy to step in and take his 30 minutes at this point. so, that is a point of vulnerability (hey -- pun!)

In the triangle there is more flexibility to hide the fact that you don't have a traditional PG, but still you can't deny that guard like Parker, Brooks, CP3 are on the floor and have to be dealt with. Playing Kobe and Trevor together at the 1 and 2 is simply not a workable solution.

I like Farmar -- I think fans tend to be overly critical of players in general, not recognizing how long it takes most players to develop/adjust to the psychological and physical demands of the game. It can take up to 5 years. Look at rafer Alston as a good example there. (And he has more than his share of critics, and he just got traded -- again).

Anyway, as for JF, I think there is still upside to him. But the economic realities are that, at this point, his contract may just be as valuable as his skills. So, he may get packaged.

In that sense, as smart as this draft has been for the Lakers (stockpiling cash to pay for FA, pay for the parade, avoid paying guaranteed salary for rookie first rounders), this does leave them vulnerable in the mid to long term. So, they have to address that moving forward.

sensei - I never was that impressed with Farmar's defensive capabilities. Honestly, I do not think he would be effective against CP3 or Jason Williams (etc). Do you think he could keep up with the premier PG's of the league?

The 'Laker Tom' solution seems preferable than Farmar! Also Laker Tom, good points about Ariza not well suited to guard the Melo's and Pierce's of the league.

Hopefully - Shannon Brown is able to make progress as I could see him guarding CP3, Jason Williams et al.

Doug

I wish the Lakers had drafted DeJuan Blair who fell all the way down to the Spurs. If he provides the Spurs with another physical player that can rebound and do the dirty work, the Lakers may be kicking themselves for passing on him with their 29th pick. I think DeJuan Blair could've provided some muscle off the bench for us because he's a glass eater. We'll see how he pans out for the Spurs.

At least we have some extra money for LO, TA and Shannon. Go Lakers!!!

Finally, a co-alumni/countryman on my lakers!! Go aggies whooooooop

We have so few problems that people are starting to woork about problems TWO YEARS FROM NOW !!!. Fisher is going to play next year and while YES he is showing his age against quick fast talented point guards like CP3 and Deron Williams, they make most point guards look lame and slow. The tag team of Fisher, Farmar and Shannon Brown will work fine and next year we will draft one or even two point guards. And thats IF we don't trade AMMO's expiring contract for a veteran point guard THIS year.

Successful draft when you consider Brown as our #1 pick and this helps retain his services. Now, we need to resign our own guys.

I hope Shannon Brown realizes that the Lakers are the best fit for someone like him, an athletic tweener (between a 1 and a 2) who is a good defender. The Laker's system is one where no true point guard is needed, but it heavily favors big guards to fill in the 1 position. They just need to defend, hit the open J and pass to the open man. The ability to "run" an offense is not necessary. Again, perfect for Shannon. I hope he, and his agent, realize that. He's not going to get more PT elsewhere, that's for sure.

I wish the Lakers had drafted DeJuan Blair who fell all the way down to the Spurs. If he provides the Spurs with another physical player that can rebound and do the dirty work, the Lakers may be kicking themselves for passing on him with their 29th pick. I think DeJuan Blair could've provided some muscle off the bench for us because he's a glass eater. We'll see how he pans out for the Spurs.

At least we have some extra money for LO, TA and Shannon. Go Lakers!!!

Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | June 25, 2009 at 10:32 PM
---------------------------------------------------------------------

You don't understand...Even though the Lakers made the pick... it wasn't theirs. They had already agreed to trade it to the Knicks for cash. So they used the pick on the person the Knicks wanted. Not who they thought was the best pick at 29.

I would pretty much bet the farm that if the Lakers would have kept the pick they would have drafted Blair at 29.

That guy is going to be an animal on the boards.

A Malik Rose type? Or better?

sensei - I never was that impressed with Farmar's defensive capabilities. Honestly, I do not think he would be effective against CP3 or Jason Williams (etc). Do you think he could keep up with the premier PG's of the league?

The 'Laker Tom' solution seems preferable than Farmar! Also Laker Tom, good points about Ariza not well suited to guard the Melo's and Pierce's of the league.

Hopefully - Shannon Brown is able to make progress as I could see him guarding CP3, Jason Williams et al.

Doug

Posted by: Doug | June 25, 2009 at 10:30 PM

=============
I agree that JF is a poor defender. We still need a lateral defensive speedster and can hit outside shots.

The Kobe/T backcourt would work depending on matchups. That is why depth is great to have. You create mismatches when possible depending on who you play against as opponent. More later on this.

YES! YES! I WAS HOPING THE LAKERS WOULD SELECT...

wait.

who?

Lakers need Rabino who is available .

This kid killed the USA Olympic team,so he is ready and the future super star,Nash, or better.
Move Bynam ,Sashah ,farmer ( terrible showing ) for him now.
This is the Laker future and a bigger deal Gasol.

@ rb,

who is Rabino?


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