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NBA Mock Draft: Final update projects Jahlil Okafor to the Lakers on draft night

Don't be surprised if Jahlil Okafor becomes the next franchise for the Lakers.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It's NBA Draft day, leaving just a few hours between the time of publishing this update and the picks beginning to roll in. The final major mock draft is in for ESPN's Chad Ford, and he once again projects big man Jahlil Okafor to the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. The Lakers could be hours away from selecting their future franchise center if things stay par the course.

Okafor has been the No. 2 pick in several mock drafts since the draft lottery, and things appear to be ending where they began --- with the Duke Blue Devil making his way to southern California. Jahlil is considered one of best post players to come out of college in a decade and would immediately give the Lakers a top-tier prospect as the centerpiece of their rebuild.

There's still a chance this pick become D'Angelo Russell, or the player never comes because the Lakers make a blockbuster trade, but the most likely outcome is Okafor having his name called then being handed a Lakers draft day cap. Ford laid out why the Lakers end up selecting Jahlil, and the possible reasons why they decide to go a different direction:

Why they take him: The Lakers are trying to not overthink this. They have a huge hole in the middle. Okafor can step in and play from Day 1. He's the most dominant low-post offensive player in the draft. His weaknesses (defense and conditioning) are correctable.

Why they pass: The trade offer they've been looking for comes -- especially if the Kings change course and decide to send DeMarcus Cousins their way. The other voices in the front office who have been championing D'Angelo Russell make a compelling, last-minute case that the Lakers should chuck old school for the new school ways of the Warriors.

Ford mocks Joseph Young to the Lakers at No. 27, and international prospect Arturo Gudaitis with the 34th pick.

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