With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, Los Angeles Lakers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
One of the dark horses for a surprise player this season could be Svi Mykhailiuk. The rookie from Kansas will find himself at the bottom of the depth chart, but he offers something no other Laker can provide: pure shooting.
Mykhailiuk will enter the season as arguably the best shooter on Luke Walton’s roster. Along with Josh Hart, Mykhailiuk was one of the top players for the Lakers’ Summer League squad that went to the Las Vegas title game.
At 6-foot-8, Mykhailiuk has the size necessary to function in a Klay Thompson-type role. While no one is projecting that type of skill, he could play that role alongside LeBron James, where catch-and-shoot opportunities will be available in large quantities.
He is also starring for Ukraine this summer, playing in 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifying. In his most recent game, Mykhailiuk posted 22 points in an upset win over Spain. He shot 5-for-9 from three-point range, which is an indication of what he can bring to the Lakers in 2018-19.
With Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka crafting a roster heavy on playmaking, a pure shooter, in the mold of a Kyle Korver, could be invaluable. Mykhailiuk will need to stay sharp on the defensive end to warrant minutes, but his status is worth monitoring for Lakers fans.
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