The Los Angeles Lakers will have the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25 and all indications point to the team selecting either Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. Most believe it’ll simply be a matter of which center will be available when the Lakers are on the clock, but head coach Byron Scott isn’t feeling the pressure in terms of the team needing to take a frontcourt player.
According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Scott was recently asked about the prospect of Los Angeles taking one of the two centers in an interview with Jim Rome on his radio show. Coach Scott responded with high praise for point guard D’Angelo Russell out of Ohio State:
When asked if the Lakers would feel pressure to take a big at No. 2, Scott said not necessarily & also mentioned Russell being a great PG
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) May 26, 2015
With Towns and Okafor expected to go one and two on draft day, most mock drafts have the Philadelphia 76ers taking Russell with the third overall pick. Russell proved to be one of the best guards in the country last season and potentially a talent that could quickly become a star on the next level.
Although considered a point guard, Russell has the size and skill to play both positions in the backcourt. Russell wants to be a floor general in the NBA, but that may not end up being the case depending on where he lands in the draft.
The Lakers got a steal in Jordan Clarkson in last year’s draft and intend to keep him around long-term. It doesn’t seem likely the team would go after Russell with Clarkson already proving his worth, especially with a potential All-Star caliber center being available at second overall.
Coach Scott acknowledging the Ohio State product’s talent doesn’t rule out the possibility of Los Angeles going with a guard rather than a center next month. Towns and Okafor seem to be the safe bet, but Russell or maybe even Emmanuel Mudiay might be options they explore from now until draft day.