Not many fans are happier the regular season ended more than those of the Los Angeles Lakers. The first 60-loss season in franchise history was a drawn out, agonizing season for one of the two most historic franchises in the National Basketball Association.
But with the NBA’s lottery system in place, the Lakers were rewarded with the second overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. In two weeks, June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a critical piece will be added to shape the future of the team. Diehard Lakers fans can watch the action unfold in front of their eyes by using Hipmunk.com for Brooklyn flights and reserve hotels in Brooklyn starting from $42 per night. According to TiqIQ.com, cheap tickets to the NBA Draft on the secondary market can be found with an average price of $92.60, and a get-in price of $40.
With the NBA Draft rapidly approaching, below we’ll analyze some of the options the Lakers are considering with the No. 2 overall pick.
Karl-Anthony Towns | Forward/Center | Kentucky | 6’11”, 250 lbs.
The general consensus of this year’s draft is the top big men are coming off the board in picks No. 1 and No. 2. If the Lakers wanted to pair one of the big men with their first-round pick from last season, Julius Randle, who missed all but one game of the entire 2014-15 season after injuring his foot during the first game of the regular season, the Lakers will basically be working with two top first-round picks in their front court. Towns has the touch from midrange that is necessary in today’s NBA, along with the power to be able to compete down low with the NBA’s largest bodies. Towns’ stock ticked up a little when recent workouts showed him having a deft touch from the three-point line, a skill that wasn’t featured while at Kentucky.
Jahlil Okafor | Center | Duke | 6’11”, 270 lbs.
The franchise center with enormous upside—NBA fans of many teams have been through this cautionary tale before. But Okafor will hold his own on the offensive side of the ball, with a nice touch from 15-feet out, along with demonstrating a great understanding of passing out of the post and double-teams, which he showed at Duke. He will be a work in progress defensively, as there have certainly been more athletic centers his size in the past. But, with a 7-5 wingspan and a thick frame, the lane won’t be as open if Okafor is standing in the center of it as the last line of defense.
D’Angelo Russell | Guard | Ohio State | 6’5”, 180 lbs.
If the Lakers wanted to go the guard route, Russell is their guy. The tall, smooth lefty point guard showed all of his playmaking abilities during his lone season as a Buckeye. His jump shot is easy on the eyes, which bodes well for a long future in the NBA. The Lakers played without a traditional point guard last season, utilizing Jordan Clarkson at the point for the majority of the second half of the campaign. Guard play in the NBA has never been more important than it is now with the emergence of the likes of Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, etc. Los Angeles can shore up that position for years to come if they decide to go with Russell as their first-round selection.