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Svi Mykhailiuk already being celebrated in Los Angeles

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The general perception regarding the NBA Draft is that it's the first-round picks who get all of the fame and glory.

And while that is true when it comes to all things financial — first-round picks sign guaranteed contracts while second-rounders are not assured of anything — the rise of social media and intense marketing pushes made by the various NBA franchises has changed that notion in recent years.

Take the case of former Kansas standout Svi Mykhailiuk as an example.

Drafted No. 47 overall — 17 picks into the second round — by the Los Angeles Lakers, Svi was anything but an afterthought in the eyes of the Lakers in the hours that followed Thursday night's NBA Draft.

From instant posts on the Lakers official Twitter account to comments from GM Rob Pelinka and Lakers legend Magic Johnson, it's clear that the Lakers are excited to have Svi in purple and gold.

These three posts all came within minutes of the Lakers making Svi the 47th pick.

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And this one was less than an hour after those three.

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Around the 4:30 mark in this video with Pelinka, the Lakers' GM starts praising Mykhailiuk's knock-down shooting and even mentions the job he did defensively on Duke's Marvin Bagley III during KU's Elite Eight win in the NCAA Tournament.

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A little while later, the Lakers threw up this compilation Tweet looking back at Svi's individual workout with the franchise leading up to their decision to select him.

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Lakers coach Luke Walton, around the 1:53 mark in the following video, had a little fun with Svi's name and explained in no uncertain terms where the former Jayhawk would stand as a rookie during the 2018-19 season.

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And finally, the Lakers' Twitter accounted posted the following phone interview with Svi a little while after he was drafted and had time to let it all sink in.

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"Oh, man, it feels great," Svi said in his first official statement on that conference call with reporters. "I feel like it's just a blessing to be part of the Lakers and be part of the NBA. With all of the history the Lakers have, I think it's just a blessing to be a part of the team."

Comments

Pius Waldman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Svi deserves a chance and just might make the most of it.

Kenneth Johnson 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk weren’t selected until the second round (34th and 47th) of the NBA draft, while Malik Newman and Billy Preston weren’t even picked. So why didn’t the NBA give more credit to the 4 Jayhawkers in the draft?

While the first rounders get all the notoriety, it was great to see the Lakers give some kudos to Svi, saying they expect him to be a part of their rotation. He should have been a first-rounder, and I expect he will have a career similar to Kyle Korver. But I certainly don’t understand why OU’s Trea Young was the 5th pick while Devonte (who won the Big 12 MVP title) came in as the 34th pick. They are the same size, 6’2, so that couldn’t have been the reason. Might have been scoring, as Young scored 27.4 ppg this past season, while Graham scored 17.3ppg. But Graham was the point guard for KU, while Young was the Sooners shooting guard, so should have had a higher scoring average. The only other reason could be that the NBA selected Young higher based on ‘potential’. While Graham proved over four seasons he could get the job done, at both point and shooting guard, Young was a flash in the pan in his only collegiate season. I’m biased, as a KU fan, but I bet that Graham will end up having a better career than Young.

While disappointed at not being drafted, that will likely benefit Newman and Preston, as they can now, as free agents, seek to go with the team where they best fit.

Ken Johnson (KU MS '70) Author of Kansas University Basketball Legends (2013) and More University of Kansas Basketball Legends (2014), both available at KU Bookstores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Marius Rowlanski 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The draft has always been more about potential than metrics. If Newman had gone to KU as a freshman and put up the exact same numbers he put up this year, he would have been an easy first rounder.

But as you pointed out, all four Jayhawks will make NBA rosters somewhere, Malik has already done so. They will all get their shot to prove that they belong in the NBA.

Self has a proven record of getting his players their shot at the big leagues and having the prerequisite skills.

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