ESPN's Chad Ford hosted a chat on Wednesday in which he stated that the Los Angeles Lakers are a "lock" to take Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns if he is there when the second pick comes up on draft night. While many have suggested that the Minnesota Timberwolves will select Towns with the No. 1 pick, rumors persist that they will instead select Duke's Jahlil Okafor or possibly even Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell.
On who the Timberwolves will select:
It's a bit early to say anything definitively. They're doing their homework. Okafor seems to be the guy that Flip favors. But that could chance with workouts and interviews. The workouts will be one-on-none. But still, I think it will come down to that for Minnesota ... and it's not just Okafor vs. Towns. I hear D'Angelo Russell in the mix there too.
On who the Lakers will select:
They're digging ... If Towns is there at 2. That's a lock. If it's Okafor, I think it's up in the air between Okafor, Russell and Mudiay. All three in the mix. But not strong feeling right now which guy it would be. I also hear they are digging on Porzingis, though I doubt they have the guts to take him that high.
While it's been argued that the Lakers will see Russell and Okafor as a tough decision, the inclusion of internationals Emanuel Mudiay and big man Kristaps Porzingis confirms Mitch Kupchak's statement from yesterday that he wants to bring in as many as eight players for a workout before deciding on who to take with the No. 2 pick. We can assume that the remaining three players Kupchak is hoping to work out are Mario Hezonja, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Justise Winslow.
All that being said, most pundits expect Minnesota to eventually climb aboard the Towns train and leave the Lakers to debate between selecting Okafor and Russell, although with a month to go before draft night there is still plenty of time for opinions to change.