The Los Angeles Lakers selecting Jahlil Okafor with the No. 2 pick might be the most likely thing happening for the purple and gold on draft night. What they do with their other first-round pick -- the No. 27 pick acquired from the Houston Rockets -- is a mystery. Chad Ford's latest mock draft on ESPN Insider has the Lakers selecting Joseph Young out of Oregon with the 27th selection.
Two Ford-mock-draft versions ago, it was UNLV's Rashad Vaughn at 27. DraftExpress' latest update projects Utah's Delon Wright to Los Angeles with the pick. The Lakers, meanwhile, have brought in a sea of prospects to sort through with both the 27th and 34th picks to make use of. It's hard to project with any confidence which way the team will lean once it's time to phone their selection in.
What seems certain from the numerous updates is that the Lakers are probably looking for help on the perimeter, whether that's small forward, shooting guard or point guard. There's an outside chance they select a draft-and-stash player, but that seems likelier with at No. 34. Several injuries and players deciding to bypass the draft an additional year before the final deadline has thinned out the availability of talent.
Ford also revealed that Young is said to have a promise from a late first-round team, but couldn't confirm whether that was with the Lakers. Here's the latest on the pick, via ESPN Insider:
If the Lakers take Okafor or Towns with their first pick, I expect they'll look at guard with their second one. The Lakers had great success with Jordan Clarkson last year and I think they could have similar success taking a chance on Young here. I believe both guards could play together in the backcourt because of Clarkson's size at the one. Young brings something to the table that the Lakers desperately need: shooting. And the fact that he hasn't worked out since the combine is suspicious. Multiple sources believe that a team in the late first round made him a promise in exchange for not working out for other teams. While I have no idea if that's LA or not, he is a good get at No. 27.
The draft is June 25, and it seems like the Lakers plans at 27 are still very fluid. If you're interested in seeing something from Joe Young, enjoy: