The Case to Embrace Jahlil Okafor as LA Lakers No. 2 Pick in the 2015 NBA Draft

In less than a month, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to use their No. 2 draft pick on Duke’s Jahlil Okafor—a low-post prodigy whose game evokes memories of giants of the past.

That assumes the Minnesota Timberwolves take Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall selection.

And while many Lakers fans are hoping Towns falls into their laps, there is a case to embrace Okafor as more than just a consolation prize.

As for the NCAA champion himself, Los Angeles would be a welcome destination.

Jonathan Givony of Draft Express tweeted as much on the night of the NBA draft lottery:

ESPN’s Chad Ford and Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix are both predicting that the 19-year-old will wind up in the Land of the Lakers in their respective mock drafts.

“Somewhere, Kobe Bryant is smiling,” wrote Mannix. “In Okafor, the Lakers get an NBA-ready center who can score in the post and should be a strong complement to returning power forward Julius Randle.”

The 6’11” kid with the mighty 7’5” wingspan and hands to match, can gobble up entry passes and convert them to instant points in the paint. 

Yet he is also a willing distributor who could tag-team with Bryant during the superstar's final chapter. The result would be in an inside-out game that, if executed properly, could bring reminders of past L.A. success stories.

Ford recently wrote that of the roughly 100 NBA scouts and front-office personnel he has spoken with, “all but a small handful” have Towns as the top overall pick. It’s easy to see why the combo center/power forward has captured the hearts and minds of so many—his ascension has much to do with his defensive prowess and the perception that he may have a higher development ceiling.

In that regard, To...

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