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NBA Draft takes over Lakers top 5 stories of the week

The NBA Draft lottery is days away, and it's taking the spotlight.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1. The NBA Draft lottery is around the corner, which means the immediate future of the Los Angeles Lakers will become much clearer soon. Should they retain their top-five pick, there's definitely plenty of talent to choose from. Our staff put together our final pre-lottery draft board, and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns was the unanimous top prospect.

2. Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell is a player most Lakers fans are probably familiar with. Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front office interviewed the standout guard during the NBA Draft combine in Chicago to take things a step further. Russell did not participate in any drills, but he did attend for measurements, a physical and to meet with teams before the draft order is finalized.

3. Stanley Johnson was widely-considered a top-five lock heading into the college season, but a down NCAA tournament hurt his stock. He might be the third or fourth wing player taken at this point, which means it's unlikely he'll end up in a Lakers uniform on draft night. Johnson grew up in Southern California, has ties to the franchise through former head coach Mike Brown, and went so far as to say it was his dream to be drafted by the Lakers.

4. Mitch Kupchak is human after all. The Lakers' general manager called himself a "worry-wart" as he prepares for a lottery that's "completely out of our control." The odds are in the Lakers' favor, but that doesn't mean anything until it's set in stone on May 19.

5. On the note of lottery players, let's close this out on Wesley Johnson. The former fourth-overall pick out of Syracuse has had a fair shot to find his niche in Los Angeles. Instead, it's been more of the same nonchalant, nondescript basketball that landed him with the Lakers on a veteran's minimum contract to begin with. Is he on the verge of playing himself out of the NBA?

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