The NBA Draft is just over a week away and ESPN's Jay Bilas laid out his "best available" list (Insider), focusing on who he feels are the most valuable prospects in the Class of 2015. At the very top is Duke big man Jahlil Okafor, the prospect most mock drafts have becoming a member of the Los Angeles Lakers on the big night.
Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay and Justise Winslow round out his top-five. Bilas feels that while Towns does "more things well" than Okafor, Jahlil's excellence in the low-post is still a big factor in the Blue Devil's favor. The Lakers' workout with Okafor was very positive by all accounts, but Los Angeles continues the pre-draft scouting process for the No. 2 pick, and their later selections.
Bilas goes through each of his top-40 players, laying out their pros and cons. Okafor's defense and free-throw shooting were the negatives in his assessment (shocking), and this is what he had to say in the positives about why he has the Blue Devil as his top prospect (ESPN Insider):
A dominant low-post scorer who is an excellent finisher around the basket. Great hands, outstanding footwork on the offensive end, and a great shooting touch to 15 feet. Very good passer, and a really good feel on the offensive end. Outstanding offensive rebounder.
These are just some of the qualities that would make Okafor much more than a consolation prize for the Lakers, as our Trevor Lane detailed just last week. The draft is June 25, leaving just a little while longer until Mitch Kupchak phones in the No. 2 pick.