With the 2022 NBA Draft looming, the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to work out a player with a name the franchise and its fans are quite familiar with.
The Lakers are one of the teams that LSU forward Shareef O’Neal — son of former Lakers center and Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal — is set to work out for.
Draft prospect Shareef O’Neal has an upcoming workout set with the Lakers, sources tell @TheAthletic. O’Neal worked out for the Bucks today and has scheduled visits to Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington among others. @ShamsCharania reported this week that O’Neal is draft eligible.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) June 10, 2022
This drew a mixed response from NBA fans.
That’s 🔥🔥🔥 if he plays For the Lakers!! https://t.co/eO1HJRznxh
— 🏀🪴 (@Eunique_ny) June 10, 2022
He's not even a tier 3 prospect, nepotism is gonna carry this kids entire career https://t.co/7rJQMGOEgH
— Milennia (adam) (@MilenniaWoW) June 10, 2022
I’ve said this before but I guarantee that Shareef winds up with the Lakers in some capacity as a favor to Shaq. Most likely with the South Bay Lakers but they’ve had plenty of call ups over the years. https://t.co/hlLcxEOIz1
— Shervon Fakhimi (@ShervonFakhimi) June 10, 2022
— ethan (@ethan_v3) June 10, 2022
Yo stop please y'all treating him like he is Shaq, he's not even a second rounder https://t.co/HDtSBUHXxH
— ttuuse (@CHA_ttuuse) June 10, 2022
— Banks. (@TheReall_Devo) June 10, 2022
Lakers doing Shaq a solid https://t.co/FOWX1t5twO
— 🏀 (@laughsNball) June 10, 2022
Of course, it’s worth noting that the Lakers don’t have any picks in the upcoming draft. Their first-round pick belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans, while their second is held by the San Antonio Spurs.
That said, while Shaq was the No. 1 overall pick in 1993, his son is nowhere near that kind of a prospect. Most mock drafts don’t even have Shareef as a second-round pick. Granted, some of that might be because there had been some doubt as to his draft eligibility, which has since been cleared up. But even at that, he was never a starter in college, nor did he ever score even three points per game.
So, in all likelihood, he’ll be a late-second-round pick at best. If the Lakers really wanted to acquire one of those picks, they probably could. More likely, he’ll be an undrafted free agent. So, chances are good that if the Lakers really want to bring another O’Neal into the fold, they’ll be able to.