The Los Angeles Lakers are hosting several prospects in the running for the No. 2 pick, but according to multiple league sources, the franchise is "locked in" on selecting Jahlil Okafor, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported in his latest NBA Mock Draft. Okafor has consistently been projected to the Lakers since they won the second overall pick, and it continues to look like the case.
This follows up on Okafor's first pre-draft workout, which happened to be with the Lakers. Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times felt the vibe that the Lakers would be "thrilled" to select Okafor, while Jahlil certainly sounded like a player who would love to join the franchise. You can find plenty of quotes and more on his workout with the Lakers here.
Mannix expects the Timberwolves to select Karl-Anthony Towns despite several reports indicating Flip Saunders is leaning toward Okafor. He also revealed that Kevin Garnett will be a part of Minnesota's drafting process, and the team's preference is to play an uptempo style. Towns would fit that model for Minnesota.
The biggest "drop" in the latest mock on SI is Emmanuel Mudiay, who stumbles all the way down to the Sacramento Kings at No. 6. Kristaps Porzingis -- an international player some feel could pan out to be one of the best in this draft class -- goes high to the New York Knicks with the fourth overall pick.
As for the No. 27 pick, Mannix projects the Lakers taking young, defensive-minded wing in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Whether or not he'll be available that late in the first round is up for debate, but finding someone who could eventually help one of the league's worst defenses with a middle-of-the-draft selection would be a nice catch for the Lakers. Los Angeles also recently worked out Hollis-Jefferson, so they've already made it a point to get a look at the Arizona Wildcat.
The NBA Draft is June 25, leaving just two weeks of speculation. reports, rumors and smokescreens to wade through before the big night.