With the NBA Draft just a few weeks away, the Los Angeles Lakers have already begun working out potential prospects. Though they haven’t yet brought in the top prospects expected to be in contention for the second overall pick, the possibilities are already well known.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Chad Ford again tabbed Duke center Jahlil Okafor to the Lakers with the second pick:
If Towns ends up going No. 1, then things get more complicated. I think the Lakers are torn between Okafor, Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay. However, the Lakers run a more traditional front office than most and have a tradition of dominant big men ruling the paint. I think, at the end of the day, the size of Okafor will win out.
With their other first-round pick at 27th overall, Ford saw the Lakers grabbing one of the nation’s best scorers in Oregon’s Joseph Young:
The Lakers had great success with Jordan Clarkson last season, and I think they could have similar success taking a chance on Young here. I believe both guards could play together in the backcourt because of Clarkson’s size at the 1. Young brings something to the table that the Lakers desperately need: shooting. And his ability to get his own shot anywhere on the floor also will be intriguing.
It is interesting to note that the Lakers are still torn between Okafor, Russell, and Mudiay. The NBA has turned into a guard-oriented league, but passing on a potential franchise big man may be too difficult to pass up. Towns would seem to be a no-brainer for the team if he fell, especially after showing off some skills at a workout on Monday.
The Lakers will have a ton of options with their other pick as guys like Justin Anderson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and R.J. Hunter would all be possibilities if they fell. The Lakers could also choose to go international and stash a player overseas as general manager Mitch Kupchak has said it would be tough to bring in three rookies.[divide]
MyNBADraft.com Draft Profiles: Jahlil Okafor