Report Card Grades for the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2015 NBA Draft

By the time the clock wound down on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers had selected an interesting if perhaps unexpected nucleus of rookie talent.

There were rumors leading up to the draft about a possible trade for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, with Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reporting on “possible frameworks of a trade.” 

But while those talks never came to fruition, L.A. still had a major surprise up its sleeve—selecting Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick, when many had assumed Duke’s Jahlil Okafor would get the nod.

The night continued with two other transactions—the Lakers selected power forward Larry Nance Jr. from Wyoming at No. 27 and small forward Anthony Brown from Stanford at No. 34.

Led by general manager Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers' front office turned in a solid, if somewhat surprising, draft-night performance.



D’Angelo Russell, G Ohio State: A

There had been some tantalizing hints about the possibility of the Lakers choosing Russell during the hours leading up to the draft. One inkling in particular came on the day of the draft from Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding when he wrote the following:

Although the Lakers respect Jahlil Okafor's size and skill (his defensive potential, not so much), momentum and consensus have been growing in the front office that Russell, not Okafor, is the special one.

It's not really so much the shift of the modern game toward the perimeter. This massive decision was always going to be about specific individuals, not the positions they play, and the vibe from Russell has been that he fits the mold of a leader, a winner and a Laker.

Lakers coach Byron Scott clearly thinks those superlative qualities exist in the 19...

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