ESPN's Chad Ford dropped this little tidbit regarding the Lakers and their recent workouts with Duke big man Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell:
But other executives speculated that perhaps the Knicks had persuaded Russell's agent to shut him down before the draft in hopes that the Sixers would pass on him at No. 3 and he'd end up in New York.
There are two problems with that scenario, however. One, the Lakers might take him at No. 2. It sounds as if the team is torn between Russell and Okafor at No. 2, assuming Towns is off the board. Both players have worked out for Los Angeles. A Lakers source described both workouts as "good, but neither blew us away."
Take this report with a grain of salt, however, because this time of year the smoke in the air is awfully thick. The "Lakers source" the Ford mentions is most likely leaking this info to Ford with a purpose. The report does go on to mention that the Knicks are looking to make a deal if one of Towns/Okafor/Russell doesn't drop to them, and it's possible that the Lakers simply trying to make life difficult on teams trying to get a read on how the draft will break and muck up trade discussions.
If true, this report does lend some credibility to the notion that the Lakers are considering drafting Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis with the second overall pick. However, Jahlil Okafor is still the best bet to end up in a Lakers uniform on draft day, with D'Angelo Russell not far behind.
It's also been reported that the Lakers would be thrilled to end up with Karl-Anthony Towns, who may be the best fit alongside the young core of Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.
So the Lakers currently are rumored to be hoping for Towns, locked in on Okafor, be interested in Russell, pondering Porzingis, not blown away by Okafor or Russell, and also impressed by Emanuel Mudiay. Welcome to pre-draft madess. Expect the rumors to keep flying for the next week and half!