Lakers Rumors: Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay Top Team’s Draft Board

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For the second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Lakers are going through a terrible season. On the positive side, this means that the Lakers will have a very high draft pick, even more important considering the team would give away their pick if it falls outside of the top-5 to the Phoenix Suns.

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The Lakers are looking to turn things around quickly and the 2015 NBA Draft will play a large role in that. Duke center Jahlil Okafor is the prize of the draft and according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, a point guard follows Okafor on the Lakers’ draft board right now:

If they finish with the worst record in the league, Okafor is a slam dunk for them. Their best and only big man is Jordan Hill, and he’s a far cry from Okafor. For a team that has a long legacy of elite big men — from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaquille O’Neal to Andrew Bynum (OK, not so much Bynum) — the Lakers would love to have a young front line of Okafor and Julius Randle. Okafor’s closest competition I’m told is Mudiay, but it’s not that close right now.

Okafor would be just the kind of player the Lakers need. He is currently averaging 18 points and nine rebounds on nearly 66 percent from the field. He would give the Lakers their next great big man and form possibly the best young frontcourt in the NBA with Julius Randle.

While Okafor at the top is a no-brainer, it will be interesting to see which way the Lakers lean if they don’t get the top pick. Mudiay is an athletic combo guard who is currently playing in China, but there are a number of options for that second pick. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson are all possibilities if the Lakers don’t land the top spot.

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