NBA Draft 2015: Los Angeles Lakers Adapt to Future by Taking D’Angelo Russell

It was the first surprise of the 2015 NBA draft. For months, Karl Anthony-Towns and Jahlil Okafor were the consensus first and second picks. Instead, the Los Angeles Lakers took D'Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick, and with that selection, the Lakers start to move forward into the new era of the NBA. 

It was easy to see why many expected Los Angeles to pick Okafor. The Lakers have a long history of success built around great big men such as Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal. 

Okafor also has the most polished offensive post game of any big to come into the league in this century. But, anyone who has watched this year's NBA Finals sees the NBA changing to a league defined by guard play, athleticism and three-point shooting. 

The Lakers get all three of those things in Russell. 

Los Angeles had a chance to select a player to possibly lead the team into the post-Kobe era. With the current direction of the NBA, the decision to select an elite guard over a center was excellent. 

Lakers head coach Byron Scott felt that Los Angeles certainly got the best available option in the draft, per ESPN's Arash Markazi. 

Rusell brings the complete package at floor general to Los Angeles. He's a gifted scorer, a 40 percent three-point shooter and also an elite passer, as he showed in one year at Ohio State, especially on this play.

Russell can create off the dribble, he can catch and shoot, and he can create efficient high-percentage looks from anywhere on the court. He has the most well-rounded offensive game of any player selected on Thursday night.

He makes the Lakers younger and more athletic, and he can help speed the offense up, while taking a big man who demands touches in the post would have only slowed it down.

SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell broke down the effect Ru...

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