The speculation continues to swirl about what the Los Angeles Lakers may do once on the clock with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Trade rumors involving DeMarcus Cousins and talk of Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell heading to Los Angeles keep circulating leading to seemingly endless speculation. Despite all the talk of trades and Russell’s chance of landing with the Lakers, Mitch Kupchak and company still appear to be leaning toward selecting Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Lakers leaning toward taking Jahlil Okafor in tonight's draft, The Times has learned. They'll be on the clock at 4:35 Pacific time.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 25, 2015
Although all signs continue to point to the Lakers selecting Okafor with the second overall pick in Thursday’s draft, anything can happen between now and the selection is actually made.
Rumors of a trade with the Sacramento Kings for Cousins will likely continue to swirl leaving a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team’s true intentions. Cousins is more of a sure bet for the Lakers with the All-Star center being a proven product rather than a gamble like Okafor or Russell.
Unfortunately, the Lakers will have to give up quite a few valuable assets to acquire the 24-year-old. It has been rumored Los Angeles would have to part with the second overall pick as well as Julius Randle and possibly even Jordan Clarkson.
With the Lakers intent on rebuilding with a core of promising young players, trading for Cousins may be even more of a gamble that rolls the dice on a rookie big man like Okafor.[divide]