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Lakers News: How Recent Title-Winning LA Bigs Inspired 2023 Draft Prospect

All Lakers on FanNation 3/28/2023 Alex Kirschenbaum
© Provided by All Lakers on FanNation

An NBA hopeful looks up to some 2020 Lakers.

Butler University power forward Manny Bates informed Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports that he is exploring the 2023 NBA draft.

After barely seeing the floor at North Carolina State as a junior, Bates transferred to Butler for the 2022-23 NCAA season. While there, the 6'11" senior averaged 11.6 points on 61.9% field goal shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks across 26 games for the Bulldogs (all starts).

Howard spoke with Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson and longtime NBA vet Tim Thomas of Bally Sports about the NBA big men who influenced his game, citing two recent Los Angeles Lakers frontcourt stars as having a particularly outsized impact.

"So growing up I was a big Dwight Howard fan," Bates revealed. "That was my guy for a while. Lately it's been Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo, so those are the three that I've always liked... Kevin Garnett too, his footwork is amazing. I just try to pick up small things from all those players."

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The 30-year-old Davis, an eight-time All-Star and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, has been with the Lakers since 2019, and along with eventual Finals MVP LeBron James led the team to its 17th title in 2020. 

Howard, 37, enjoyed three separate stints in LA, most importantly as an energy big off the bench during the 2020 championship run. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year and also an eight-time All-Star, Howard is also destined for Springfield, though his prime seasons were spent with the Orlando Magic.

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