The Minnesota Timberwolves have told consensus number 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns that they indeed will be selecting him first overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. This comes on the heels of Towns travelling to Minnesota and working out for the team. While there Towns also met with Wolves owner Glen Taylor as well as head coach and President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders.
While Towns being selected first is far from a surprise, this is the first report that has surfaced claiming that the Wolves have made it official and notified the young Kentucky big man. The Wolves were also rumored to be considering Jahlil Okafor, Kristaps Porzingis, and D'Angelo Russell.
If the report is accurate, Towns would be joining a Minnesota team with plenty of athletic young talent, such as last year's number 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, and 2014-2015 slam dunk champion Zach LaVine.
For the Lakers the fact that Towns will be off the board has to be a something of a disappointment, as they were reportedly hoping that he would fall to them. However, Los Angeles will still have plenty of very good players to choose from, with D'Angelo Russell being worthy of consideration and Emanuel Mudiay challenging him for the title of top point guard in the draft. Kristaps Porzingis could also be a possibility, although his fit with the Lakers is questionable.
The odds-on favorite though has to be Jahlil Okafor, the talented Duke big man who was on top of most draft boards for the majority of the college season but was knocked down as spot after a strong run from Towns. Okafor would certainly be an exciting addition to the purple and gold, and shouldn't be looked at as a consolation prize.
With just 3 days until the draft arrives the first few picks are beginning to come into focus, but the great thing about the NBA Draft is that there are always surprises. Who will jump up in the draft? Who will slide down? And will there be any blockbuster trades? Keep checking in here at SS&R for all of the latest Lakers draft news and analysis!
Update 6:53 pm Monday-----
Towns denied he has a promise from the Timberwolves to select him first overall:
"If I had a promise, I would go start eating ice cream and getting fat," [Towns] joked to [the Associated Press]. "There is absolutely no promise at all. Right now I'm just trying to see where I'll be playing. I have no idea."
Stay tuned for more coverage of this and more in the lead up to Thursday night.