The 2015 NBA Draft is just under three weeks away, which means it's time to separate the fiction from the fact when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers' #2 pick. Here's our list of 3 Lakers NBA Draft Rumors You Need To Know.
Karl Anthony-Towns To The Lakers Via Trade With Minnesota?
Kentucky Wildcats center Karl-Anthony Towns is pulling ahead as the legitimate favorite for the #1 pick in the draft, but ESPN's Chad Ford isn't so sure that he's distanced himself from Duke's Jahlil Okafor for that honor.
Either way, Ford posits that the Lakers could end the conversation by trading up to #1 with the Minnesota Timberwolves and selecting Towns:
First of all, from July-February, Okafor was the consensus No. 1 guy. So it's not like he can't play. I think Flip see's Okafor as a major post up presence on offense -- a major need of the Wolves. But you're right. Towns has more strengths than Okafor, fewer weaknesses (if any) and I think he's a better fit with Gourgi Dieng and Pekovic. No question Towns can play some four in the NBA and be a nightmare match-up. Let's see what happens when they come in to visit with the team. I don't think the Wolves will get to see them workout together, and both guys are impressive off the court. But we're still three weeks away. Lots of homework going on. I think the Wolves will eventually decide to take him 1, or perhaps swap with the Lakers and try to pick up another asset.
Emmanuel Mudiay Would "Love To Be A Part" Of The Lakers
The international sensation dined with the Lakers' basketball operations department on Frday prior to his workout for the team on Saturday. He came away extremely impressed with both the history and the future of the franchise.
Emmanuel Mudiay's reaction to seeing the Lakers trophies in the window: "It made me want to get some."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 6, 2015
Emmanuel Mudiay after LAL workout: "I'd love to be a part of something like this. I just want to win, get as many championships as I can." — Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 6, 2015
He even sees some of himself in future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant:
Emmanuel Mudiay on possibly playing w/ Kobe Bryant: "I'm competitive just as much as he's competitive. He wants to win. I want to win."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 6, 2015
Mudiay is first or second for point guard on most experts' draft boards, with Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell standing as the other consensus top-two selection.
That leads us to...
D'Angelo Russell Emerging As Legit #2 Pick Option
The popular notion is that the Lakers will pick whoever's left from the projected top two of Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns, but NBA.com writer Scott Howard-Cooper thinks that the aforementioned Russell is likely a better fit:
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.
At the very least, Russell has been a realistic option for the Lakers all along, even if Kentucky center-power forward Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke center Jahlil Okafor have held the top two spots in the eyes of most teams almost all season. Now that the lottery order has been set since May 19, and with the draft getting closer, there is talk around the league that Russell at No. 2 is a legitimate possibility.
Howard-Cooper adds that selecting either Okafor or Towns would be essentially a repeat pick, not necessarily making sense after taking Julius Randle in the first round last year.
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