Just about every credible projection out there has Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor going (in some order) one and two in next Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The Lakers hold the No. 2 pick, and have put plenty of players through their paces while doing their due diligence. But with Okafor being the most likely selection for Los Angeles, the team decided to get a second private look in just to solidify any opinions that might be influencing that very critical decision.
The Lakers will host a private workout for Duke center Jahlil Okafor on Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo, marking the second individual workout Okafor has had wearing a purple and gold practice jersey. The Lakers also plan to host a private workout on Saturday both for Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell and for prospects that might be available at the No. 27 and 34th draft slots. The Lakers will then have private workouts next Monday and Wednesday just for prospects they would consider with the 27th and 34h picks. …
The Lakers have also become increasingly doubtful they will have a workout for Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns. The Lakers believe their lack of progress with those efforts stem from most NBA mock drafts predicting the Minnesota Timberwolves will select with their No. 1 pick. But the Lakers will accommodate their workout schedule should Towns and his representatives express interest in a workout.
Towns is the heavy favorite at this point to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Timberwolves, and if he’s passing up workouts with a team just one slot lower on the draft board, he may already know that’s what’s coming.
As for Okafor, the Lakers have looked hard at Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell, just in case they believe a perimeter player may be a better option. But barring something unexpected occurring during Friday’s workout, all signs will continue to point to the Lakers landing the big man from Duke on June 25 — provided the Timberwolves snatch up Towns at one as virtually everyone expects.