With the NBA Draft just weeks away, much of the focus is at the top of the draft where the Minnesota Timberwolves own the first pick. Though most scouts consider Karl-Anthony Towns the top prospect, persistent rumors have come out that Timberwolves head coach and GM Flip Saunders prefers Jahlil Okafor.
Now that workouts have started, including some clips of an impressive one from Towns himself, it seems as if those feelings haven’t changed. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider), Saunders reportedly still prefers Okafor:
Karl-Anthony Towns is the No. 1-ranked player on my Big Board. However, virtually all the signals from sources inside the Wolves point to Jahlil Okafor being Flip Saunders’ favorite right now.
Despite the rumors, Ford does still believe that the T-Wolves will eventually take Towns as the majority of their staff prefers Towns:
Workouts and interviews and lobbying from staff (I hear most of the rest of the staff favors Towns) could push Towns back atop. And after watching Towns’ workout Monday, I believe that the Wolves will figure this out in favor of Towns.
If Minnesota were to take Okafor instead of Towns, the Lakers would surely jump at the chance to add Towns to their front court and pair him with last year’s top pick Julius Randle. As it stands now, Ford still sees Towns going first and believes the Lakers will take Okafor second overall.
Either way, the Lakers seem poised to take a big man with the pick, though that is far from a sure thing. Both D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay will be in the discussion for the second pick as well, with Mudiay even growing up a Lakers fan.[divide]
MyNBADraft.com Draft Profiles: Karl-Anthony Towns