The Los Angeles Lakers front office "prefers" Karl-Anthony Towns to Jahlil Okafor, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. Towns averaged 19.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per-40 minutes in his lone season at Kentucky to Okafor's freshman season per-40 minute averages of 23 points and 11.3 rebounds for Duke. Towns projects to be the better defensive player, and posted a defensive rating of 78.1 to Okafor's 95.4.
Mannix also reported that it is unlikely Towns will be available with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, because he "seems earmarked" for Minnesota to select. Towns has not worked out for the Lakers, and team officials are pessimistic he will do so before the draft on June 25th. Okafor has worked out twice for the Lakers front office, as has Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell and his fellow point guard prospect Emmanuel Mudiay as part of a total of 78 draft prospects the team has worked out as part of its pre-draft preparations. Neither Okafor or Russell overly impressed the Lakers in their first workouts, and it remains to be seen if their second, private workouts changed the teams' thinking.
Whoever they pick, the Lakers are reportedly likely to select a big man with their highest lottery pick since James Worthy. Whether they get their first or second choice remains to be seen.