D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay came through for much-publicised workouts — and as it goes in Los Angeles, any time the Lakers take even a sideways glance at a prospect the constant rumor machine that surrounds the team and fan base kicks into overdrive.
But the reality is far more simple for the Lakers — they need talent. They have an excellent opportunity with the No. 2 pick and need to take the best player on the board regardless of position. They have no overload of talent at any position on the floor.
Which is why they will take whatever big man is on the board, Karl Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor. And they want Okafor, reports Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
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.
This was always the most likely outcome. The Lakers will gladly take whichever of the those quality big men fall to them, and then pair him with Julius Randle in a front line they can let grow together. Let quality find last year Jordan Clarkson feed them the rock from the point.
The Lakers are right to take a look at everyone in the top 10, to do their due diligence. But at the end of the day they will take Towns or Okafor, whichever is on the board.