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Report: Lakers worked out Kentucky center Isaiah Jackson

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The Los Angeles Lakers will have the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, and the team has conducted several workouts with prospects projected to be available at that spot.

Los Angeles has done interviews and workouts with Trey Murphy III of Virginia and Jaden Springer of Tennessee.

Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois also worked out with the Lakers during the same session as Springer, which indicates Los Angeles’ interest in possibly using the pick on a capable guard. Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker are free agents this summer, and it’s unlikely for financial reasons all three will return.

It appears L.A. also has done some scouting pertaining to centers that could be available at No. 22. According to Chris Fisher, who covers the Kentucky Wildcats on CBS Sports’ 247Sports Network, the Lakers worked out center Isaiah Jackson:

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Jackson is projected to be a late first-round pick or an early second-rounder. The 6-foot-10 big is only 206 pounds, which isn’t optimal for centers at the NBA level.

But Jackson is an elite athlete at his position, which he has illustrated on the defensive end; he averaged 2.6 blocks a game this season, one of the premier rates in the nation.

He averaged 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.7 minutes a game and showed the ability to be a quality rim-running center if he develops accordingly.

As for his potential fit on the Lakers, he’d likely be coming off the bench. With Andre Drummond’s future in L.A. unclear and Anthony Davis usually playing the four, Marc Gasol is the primary option at center.

Montrezl Harrell also has a player option he must make a decision on soon. If he opts in, he’ll have a role as a backup center.

Jackson also isn’t a floor-spacing big. His shot tendencies reside near the rim, which would clog the floor depending on the lineup because his playmaking skills need improvements as well.

Jackson may not look like the ideal target on paper, but it’s good for the Lakers to do their due diligence on as many prospects as possible with their lone draft pick.

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