The Los Angeles Lakers are hours away from phoning in their selection to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, but their plans with the second overall pick in the draft still seem unclear. Whatever the decision is, though, will be up to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Kupchak has the final say on the selection, but will hear input from the entire basketball operations team.
D'Angelo Russell has made quite an impression on the Lakers throughout the pre-draft process, according to a report from Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, and there's growing momentum to select the point guard out of Ohio State with the No. 2 pick. Russell's second workout impressed the Lakers, while Jahlil Okafor's second workout was a "drop-off" from his first.
With the decision belonging to Kupchak, Chad Ford may have shed some light on where the secretive general manager stands during his latest chat on ESPN when asked if the Lakers would really draft Russell:
They might. I think he's Byron Scott's choice. The issue is that Mitch Kupchak is making this pick and I think he leans Okafor. I'm not saying it's impossible that it's Russell. But still hear Okafor there. If they trade the pick, all bets are off.
Ford's long been on the Okafor-to-the-Lakers wagon, recently reporting there's an "80-20" chance Jahlil will be the pick at No. 2. This is a win-win for the Lakers, who can walk away with a tantalizing talent no matter which way they draft. Whatever happens, Kupchak will be the one to make the final call.