Sports Out West

NBA draft 2013: Ryan Kelly goes to Lakers at No. 48

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The Los Angeles Lakers selected Duke big man Ryan Kelly with their lone pick in the 2013 NBA draft on Thursday. 

Kelly, taken with the No. 48 overall selection, is a stretch big man who can knock down open shots and has better-than-average ability on the defensive end. He should be an ideal fit in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system that features bigs who can stretch the floor and provide support on the defensive end.

Despite the Lakers’ draft being complete, the biggest question that remains is what to do in the case of Dwight Howard. The Lakers big man could leave the team for greener pastures and choose to sign with either the Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks. Early reports have the Lakers with a dwindling chance at landing the mercurial 27-year-old as they try to rebound from what was a tumultuous season in 2013-14. 

Kelly has good length at the power forward position, and is could  compare to Chris Bosh with less upside. A rare four-year player, Kelly should be ready to play right away and help the Lakers should they retain him as the draft continues to unfold. 

In his senior year, he averaged 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the 3-point line and 81.2 percent from the free-throw line. 

For more on the draft, visit Sports Out West’s NBA hub

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.