The Los Angeles Lakers will have a major decision to make with their second pick in next month’s NBA Draft. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are the two players most expected to be the top two picks, but the Lakers will work out a number of players who could be options with the pick.
One of those players will be point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay originally committed to play at SMU, but eventually decided to play professionally in China. SMU head coach Larry Brown commented on Mudiay saying that he is a huge Lakers fan according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv:
Emmanuel always was a huge Lakers fan and a huge Kobe fan,” Brown said. “He’s been a huge Laker fan for years.”
The other guard in contention for the second pick is Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell. Brown said complimented Russell, but said there are some things that Mudiay can do that Russell can’t:
Emmanuel is a point guard, I don’t think D’Angelo Russell is a point guard,” he said. “But I think D’Angelo Russell is a great player. He can pass the hell out of the ball, he can shoot it with range. I don’t think he’ll ever be the defender that Emmanuel is and I don’t think he’ll ever run a team the way Emmanuel does but he also doesn’t need to do that the way he plays.”
With the NBA turning into a more perimeter-oriented league, some believe the Lakers would be better served taking a guard. Mudiay and Russell are completely different players and both could thrive in today’s NBA, but passing on a great big man could be difficult for the Lakers.
Towns is still the top prospect, especially after his recent workout in Los Angeles, but if he’s taken first everything is up in the air. Mudiay was believed to be second on the Lakers’ draft board at one point in the draft process, but things likely won’t become clear until the draft nears.
MyNBADraft.com Draft Profiles: Emmanuel Mudiay