The Los Angeles Lakers are less than a month away from making their selection with the No. 2 pick and all signs continue to point toward Duke's Jahlil Okafor holding up a Lakers jersey on draft night. The latest mock draft from Chad Ford of ESPN once again has Karl-Anthony Towns headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lakers taking Okafor with the second overall pick.
Lakers general Mitch Kupchak has alluded to drafting "big" on June 25, and though Towns is at the top of the franchise's draft board, Okafor is looks more and more like a lock with the second pick. Los Angeles hopes to host workouts with as many as eight players who could be in play with their top pick, but the tradition of dominant big men controlling the paint for the purple and gold has Ford expecting Okafor to make his way to LA over Emmanuel Mudiay and D'Angelo Russell:
The Lakers will be elated if Okafor goes No. 1 and Towns slides here. He would be a slam dunk at No. 2. He is a great fit next to Julius Randle in the front court and the best two-way player in the draft. If Towns ends up going No. 1, then things get more complicated. I think the Lakers are torn between Okafor, Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay. However, the Lakers run a more traditional front office than most and have a tradition of dominant big men ruling the paint. I think, at the end of the day, the size of Okafor will win out.
Okafor continues to be the pick for the Lakers in mock drafts, while the No. 27 pick remains as the big mystery. Joseph Young -- a four-year player who transferred to Oregon from Houston to finish his final two years of collegiate play -- is the latest player to be projected to LA. He was a high-volume three-point shooter in college, averaging 5.6 threes per game while shooting 39 percent from deep throughout his career.
Los Angeles hopes to begin workouts with lottery talent next week, and their pre-draft process has been exhaustive as they host big groups of players they could select deeper in the draft as they prepare for a big night.