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Lakers select Chinemelu Elonu with the 59th pick

June 25, 2009 |  9:27 pm

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 fiancée 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)


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