With less than three weeks until the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have the 2nd, 27th and 34th picks. While the franchise has been working out prospects for their late first and second round picks, Los Angeles recently worked out top-five prospect Emmanuel Mudiay on Saturday.
Although most mock drafts have Karl-Anthony Towns going to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers are expected to pick Jahlil Okafor. However, in a time when point guards are dominating the league, an NBA executive believes there is a ‘logical case to be made’ for the Lakers to go with D’Angelo Russell according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper:
Away from the consensus, distanced from the assumptions, there is a logical case to be made for the Lakers to take Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell with the second pick in the June 25 Draft and not simply inherit the big man the Timberwolves do not take at No. 1.
There is such a logical case, in fact, that front offices outside Los Angeles buy the premise without hesitation. Russell is considered that good — “I would take him No. 1,” said an executive with a team that isn’t picking high enough to be impacted by the top five being shuffled — and the Lakers have that unique of circumstances.
While Towns is considered the top prospect in this year’s draft, there are conflicting reports on how much the Lakers favor Okafor over Russell. Although the franchise has always won championships with a dominant big man, the Lakers could opt for another point guard to pair with Jordan Clarkson, who was recently named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First team.
With the NBA Finals currently in progress, the Lakers look to return to their championship ways by taking the next step in their rebuild this off-season. Along with adding another talented prospect, the Lakers will have cap room to pursue one max contract player.