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Lakers Surprise by Drafting Sharpshooter Dalton Knecht at 17th Overall

Lakers Surprise by Drafting Sharpshooter Dalton Knecht at 17th Overallillustration

Dalton Knecht experienced an unexpected wait during Wednesday night's NBA Draft at the Barclays Center, but the Los Angeles capitalized on the opportunity, securing what many consider a steal in the first round.

Selected 17th overall, Knecht's draft position defied earlier projections, where some anticipated him as a potential top-10 pick following a standout season in the SEC. Despite predictions placing him as high as sixth overall in mock drafts, Knecht, aged 23, saw his selection delayed possibly due to concerns about his relatively advanced age compared to other prospects.

The Tennessee star's journey to the NBA has been marked by resilience. Initially overlooked by Division-I programs out of high school, Knecht began at a junior college before transferring to Northern Colorado. His breakthrough came during his final season at Tennessee, where he averaged 21.7 points and 4.9 rebounds . His sharpshooting ability, shooting nearly 40% from three-point range, played a pivotal role in Tennessee's Elite Eight run, their deepest NCAA tournament advancement since 2010. Recognized as the SEC's Player of the Year and a first-team All-American, Knecht's performance underscored his readiness to contribute immediately at the professional level.

Joining the Lakers places Knecht alongside LeBron James under the guidance of first-year head coach J.J. Redick. His experience and scoring prowess suggest a seamless fit into Los Angeles' lineup, enhancing their roster depth without overstating his impact as a transformative franchise player.

Knecht's selection by the Lakers promises mutual benefit, proving patience a virtue in securing a promising addition to their squad.

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