According to a report by zagsblog, projected #1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns is declining to workout for any NBA teams and will only conduct interviews with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers, who hold the first and second pick in the draft, respectively.
Projected No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns will interview with the top two teams in the NBA Draft lottery — the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers — but won't workout for any teams, sources told SNY.tv.
The Timberwolves own the No. 1 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft and have the right to select the 6-foot-11 Towns or 6-11 Duke big man Jahlil Okafor with the No. 1 pick. The Lakers pick second.
DraftExpress.com projects that Towns, who is repped by Leon Rose of CAA, will go No. 1 to the Wolves.
"It would be a blessing and an honor to even have a chance to play for Minnesota and be able to have the chance to play for a great organization and learn from a great mentor like Kevin Garnett," Towns told SNY.tv at the lottery.
Towns is working out in Los Angeles with former UCLA star Don MacLean, who raved to SNY.tv about Towns' potential and work ethic.
"I've been doing this for 11 or 12 years pre-draft," MacLean, the leading scorer in Pac-12 and UCLA history, previously told SNY.tv. "Because I had a lot of top 10 picks and a lot of really good players, I'm not really impressed or blown away. I had Towns all last week and I was blown away. Blown away.
"A kid that big but shoots it that well but handles it that well and understands the game, that's coachable, that wants to get better, wants to be great, I was blown away by him last week.
"Am I a little biased? I've known Jahlil because I've done Adidas nations forever. Jahlil's a great kid and a great player but I just think he doesn't have as much to his game as Karl has."
There is little motivation for Towns to workout, as nearly every draft board has him as the top overall selection. Working out for a team could be a no-win situation, as a strong workout wouldn't cause benefit him while an off day could result in him dropping down.
Still, Towns' reported decision to not workout has raised some eyebrows due to that fact that the Wolves are rumored to be one of the few teams that does not have him as a lock for the first pick. Wolves President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Flip Saunders is particularly enamored with Duke's Jahlil Okafor, although most believe that when push comes to shove Towns' defensive presence and versatility will be too much to pass up.
There is another intriguing possibility at play here: it's widely assumed that Towns and Okafor are the top two prospects in the draft and that the Lakers will simply select whichever one of them Minnesota passes on. It has been reported that they have Towns at the top of their draft board, but they would be happy to land either big man. While some suggest that the Lakers should strongly consider selecting talented guard D'Angelo Russell, the consensus is that the team wants a center to build around.
If that is indeed the case then the Lakers have a much easier decision to make than Minnesota does, as the Wolves will essentially be making the decision for them. In other words, Towns not working out doesn't have much of an impact on the Lakers. For Minnesota, however, the workout process could very well determine which big man they select, and Towns not working out for them is certainly less than ideal.
All eyes will now turn to Jahlil Okafor to see if he cancels workouts as well. Should he decide to go through with the workout process and Towns sits out that potentially could push the Wolves to select Okafor with their pick, leaving Towns available for the Lakers. That would be an unexpected but certainly welcome scenario for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front office.
Additionally, if Towns does end up in purple and gold we know that fellow Kentucky alum Julius Randle wouldn't mind it.
Of course Towns falling to LA is all conjecture at this point, and we won't definitively know who the Lakers end up with until their pick is announced by Adam Silver on June 25th. All we can say with any certainty at this point is that the Lakers will be getting a very good player in the draft, and that the future is finally looking bright in Los Angeles.