Is Jahlil Okafor Going To Be A Los Angeles Laker?


The NBA Draft Lottery took place on Tuesday night and we now officially know the order for this years selections. The Minnesota Timberwolves received the number one pick with the Los Angeles Lakers getting the number two pick. The Big debate leading up to the draft will be whether Karl Anthony-Towns, or Jahlil Okafor should be the number one pick.

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As of right now most mock drafts have Towns going number one overall to the Timberwolves, with Okafor going right after him to the Lakers. Okafor is also ranked second on many experts’ big boards behind Towns. Both of these big guys have the potential to be franchise changers, but they do bring different things to the table.

Okafor is your old school back-to-the-basket scorer who has great footwork and a plethora of low post moves. His ball-handling is also tremendous, but where he falters is at the free-throw line and he could certainly stand to improve on his defense and rim protection.

Towns on the other hand isn’t as polished offensively, but he has more range than Okafor as he can step outside and hit jumpers. Where Towns really excels though, is on defense. In the worst case scenario he will be a defensive anchor for whoever drafts him, but he is viewed as more of a long term prospect while Okafor should come in and contribute immediately.

Okafor dropping to second in the draft wouldn’t exactly be the worst thing for him though as Los Angeles is a much better destination than Minnesota, both basketball wise and living wise. Los Angeles has a tradition of dominant big men whether it be Shaq, Kareem or anyone else, and while Okafor would come in with high expectations, he would definitely have the right people helping him out. It also wouldn’t hurt to play your first season in the NBA alongside Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest players ever.

This mock draft has Okafor going second to the Lakers, while Justise Winslow gets picked fourth by the New York Knicks, and Tyus Jones is picked 21st by the Dallas Mavericks. That would make for three Duke Blue Devils being drafted in the first round and all three going to big markets.

The draft is still more than a month away (June 25) so a lot can change between now and then. It is still a strong possibility that Okafor gets taken with the first overall pick because the Timberwolves may fall in love with him when they do their homework. But like I said before, dropping to number two might actually be the best thing for the former Blue Devil as LA has a storied history. Stay Tuned to Ball Durham for all things Duke.