Report: Lakers “Locked In” On Drafting Jahlil Okafor

By David Kenyon

The top two picks of the 2015 NBA draft are very likely Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, but the order in which they’re selected remains a question.

But if the Los Angeles Lakers can have their way at No. 2, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the franchise wants to take Okafor.

“The Lakers are going through the motions with other draft prospects—D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay have been in for workouts—but multiple league sources say L.A. is locked in on Okafor. Despite being overtaken by Towns, scouts still see Okafor as a franchise center—one with an enormous upside.”

Towns ought to be the Minnesota Timberwolves’ preference when they make the first overall pick of the draft, so Mannix’s update should be well-received by Lakers fans.

Okafor doesn’t have the jump-shooting touch or defense that Towns provides, but Los Angeles doesn’t need to focus on either of those skills. What the roster needs, however, is an offensive cornerstone to build around when Kobe Bryant retires.

And if what Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said on SiriusXM NBA Radio last month comes true, the team will be turning to that new scorer in 2016-17. Per USA Today Sports, Kupchak said:

“I think first and foremost, he’s on the last year of a deal. There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don’t think there will be.”

The draft will be held on June 25 at the Barclays Center.

Photo: USA Today Sports