Lakers May Not Say It, but Desire to Go Big in NBA Draft Impossible to Hide

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Mitch Kupchak is skilled at using words without saying anything.

When the Los Angeles Lakers general manager wants to stick to his conservative nature, protecting his information and keeping his plans private, he'll fill space with circuitous phrases that travel roundabout paths to, well, dead ends.

"Having said that, you can argue that maybe…"

"That could be a factor…"

"I understand why people would think that. But to say I'm thinking that, I'm not sure…"

Except…some stuff is obvious.

And when stuff is as obvious as the two big men, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, being the best bets in this NBA draft, no matter how much fans might want to stir that pot, even Kupchak will forget to raise the veil.

If you read some of the plain words the Lakers GM spoke Tuesday after working out likely No. 2 overall pick Okafor—with Kupchak expressing ongoing determination to get the other center, Towns, in for a workout—there are no twists and turns.

"We're going to look at the bigs and the guards," Kupchak said, "and see if there's a guard there that—despite being just a guard—you don't want to pass on him."

Kupchak has been consistent in his statements for months that logic suggests Towns and Okafor are the gems, and there might be some clarity in the next three weeks, but that subsequent area needs to be sorted out.

Certainly it's Kupchak's prerogative to change his mind now that this is happening in real time. The Lakers do want to see Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis' workout Sunday in Las Vegas and might have guards Emmanuel Mudiay and D'Angelo Russell back in for additional one-day workouts.

But sometimes when Kupchak's way with words seems convoluted, that doesn't mean he will be misleading.

As often as he said Tuesday...

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