Only 14 games remain in the 2014-15 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers and all the attention has turned to the team potentially having a lottery pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
With all the talk surrounding the upcoming draft, the question is who do the Lakers select if able to hold onto their pick. Although it may be a longshot, Los Angeles could end up getting the top pick if the balls bounce the right way during the draft lottery.
During an appearance on ESPN radio’s Mason and Ireland, Ramona Shelburne, filling in for John Ireland, was asked who the Lakers might take if they get the top pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Mason asked the question due to Shelburne’s relationship with Jim Buss and had an interesting response:
Mason: “You know Jimmy, you know Jimmy Buss. I know you text with him and stuff and talk to him on the phone. Which one do you think he’s going with? Push comes shove, get the number one pick, you think it’s Russell or Okafor?
Shelburne: “Maybe neither.”
Mason: “Get out of here! If they get the number one pick, it’s one of those two.”
Shelburne: “Kid from Kentucky has the higher ceiling.”
Mason: “Which kid?”
Shelburne: “Karl [Anthony Towns]. I’m telling you half the league would pick Karl first. Yes. He has the much higher ceiling. [Jahlil] Okafor is the more ready to play guy right now. He’s the guy that’ll help you sooner, faster. Like if Phil [Jackson] gets the number one pick, he’s probably taking Okafor in New York because he can’t wait around.”
As of right now, the consensus seems to be that Jahlil Okafor of Duke and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell are in contention to be the top pick in the draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns has also been mentioned as a top prospect, but not one teams would pick over Okafor and possibly not over Russell.
With that being said, the Lakers going after Towns rather than Russell or Okafor would be an interesting move to say the least. Towns may be a complimentary piece to the puzzle rather than a potential franchise player like Okafor and Russell.
Obviously, there’s no guarantees in the NBA Draft. College prospects are always hit or miss for the most part. Towns, Okafor and Russell may never pan out on the NBA level. It could happen and there’s a chance that maybe only one of the three actually make it big, but if the Lakers get the top pick and make the wrong choice, the criticism will be never-ending.[divide]
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