Lakers Rumors: Marcus Smart, Elfrid Payton and More Draft Buzz

After a season worth forgetting, there is justifiably a fair bit of anticipation heading into this draft, an unfamiliar sensation for many Los Angeles Lakers fans. Normally the draft for this team is about finding a diamond in the rough later in the draft, not trying to identify the team's next franchise player in the lottery.

But that's where the Lakers stand nonetheless, and not surprisingly that's where the rumors surrounding the team are also focused. 

When the Lakers select at No. 7 overall, a slew of good players will still be available. But which are they likely to target?

Well, it seems point guard will be emphasized, if the latest rumors are to be believed. One player the team seems to like is Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Of course, another player that has clearly made an impression is Elfrid Payton, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

Both players defend well and drive to the basket with regularity. What could possibly push Smart over the top is that he is the more polished player and is an excellent rebounder for a guard. If he can improve his jump shot, he'll be a complete player.

Of course, if either player lands on the Lakers, they'll need to adjust to life beside Kobe Bryant rather quickly. Kobe is still the straw that stirs the drink in LA, so Smart or Payton would have to be comfortable playing second fiddle. 

One player who would embrace any of the challenges that could come with playing with Kobe is Julius Randle, who has worked out with the Lakers, as he told Mike Trudell of

He wasn't done, per Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:

It sure sounds like somebody wants to be a Laker. And after averaging 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds as a freshman for Kentucky, he'll certainly be an enticing option for...

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