Lakers take former Tennessee star Dalton Knecht with first pick

The Los Angeles Lakers took former Tennessee star Dalton Knecht in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft.

Knecht, who turned 23 in April, led the Volunteers on an Elite 8 run in the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament. While the Volunteers eventually fell to Purdue in the battle for a ticket to the Final Four, Knecht was named consensus 2024 first team All-American and was unanimous SEC player of the year.

The 6-foot-5 guard also won the Julius Erving Award, which is given to the best small forward in the country.

Laker Nation can hope Knecht can provide some scoring help for LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves for the upcoming 2024-2025 NBA season. The Thornton, Colorado native averaged just over 21 points in the 2023-2024 season and shot just under 40% from behind the three-point arc.


The selection of Knecht formally ends the social media speculation that the Lakers would draft LeBron James' son Bronny James in the first round. The Purple and Gold, however, does own a pick (No. 55) in the second round so there's still a chance LeBron may get to live out his dream of playing alongside his son, who previously played with USC before declaring for the draft.