With the NBA Draft in a week, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to make a crucial decision with the second overall pick. Should the Minnesota Timberwolves select Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Kristaps Porzingis and Emmanuel Mudiay are all possibilities leading up to June 25.
After Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, there have been discussions if the Lakers should move away from their tradition of big men and select a guard instead. On The Chris Mannix Show, general manager Mitch Kupchak recently discussed numerous topics including if the Warriors’ success will influence how teams are build or how they want to play:
I think the answer is maybe. Yeah, the game has certainly changed in 30 years. Yeah, the rules have changed. The way they call players guarding each other has changed, so the game is going to change. A lot of the way a team plays clearly is going to be based on the players and the talent they have. For example, Golden State, they get the most out of Stephen Curry playing a certain way, so why not play that way. So, there is a trend. It’s fun to watch, it’s fast-paced, the three-ball is really big time right now, you don’t see as much midrange as you once did, but, once again, a lot of what you do is going to be dependent upon the players you have.
In a time where guards are dominating the league, the Lakers have struggled at that position before they were able to select Jordan Clarkson in last year’s draft, who earned All-Rookie First Team honors and finished seventh for the Rookie of the Year award. By adding Russell or Mudiay, the Lakers could establish their backcourt for the post-Kobe Bryant era.
After failing to make the playoffs these last two seasons, there is optimism with three draft picks and a projected $23 million in cap space to pursue free agents if the Lakers decline Jordan Hill’s team option. While patience may be wearing thin, the Lakers are determined to rebuild the team the right way in hopes of having a championship contender in Los Angeles for years.[divide]