Big or small?
It's still being debated within the Lakers organization before Thursday's
Conventional wisdom says they will use the No. 2 overall pick to take
The Lakers initially had questions about his outside touch after scouting Russell during Ohio State's season but later chalked it up to a coincidental erratic performance while they were in attendance.
Russell shot 41.1% from three-point range at Ohio State while averaging 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists as a freshman. He is 6 feet 5 and sometimes described as a taller version of Chris Paul.
If the Lakers take Russell, they envision moving
One person familiar with the Lakers' thinking said Russell could be "something special."
But one person familiar with Okafor said the Lakers shouldn't pass him up, calling him "the best player in the draft."
"I think he's going to be an All-Star. There's really nobody like him," Duke Coach
"I'm not saying he's Duncan but he's got great touch like Duncan. He can use the glass. Very soft shot. He can pass so well from the low post. I would say he's a guy that can get four to six assists during the ballgame.
"I know he would love to be a Laker. I hope it works out that way."
Krzyzewski bristled at the main knock on Okafor — his defense, particularly in pick-and-roll situations.
"I really don't believe he's shown weakness in defense," Krzyzewski said. "What we couldn't afford was to have him be away from the basket, so we didn't have him step in and trap because that's what our opponent would want.
"He's got good feet. It's ridiculous to me for somebody to say he can't defend a ball screen. It's hard for me to imagine. I coach all the U.S. teams. He's a good defender. He's not an amazing shot-blocker but he moves his feet really well."
Krzyzewski expressed confidence that Okafor would improve his free-throw shooting — 51% in his only season at Duke. Okafor averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds at Duke.
Another possibility the Lakers weighed was Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis, who had created differing opinions within the organization. His 7-foot-1 size and outside touch intrigued the team, but he did not provide quite enough in workouts to warrant taking second overall, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay also was briefly considered at No. 2 but the team questioned his outside touch. His dynamic playmaking ability could not outweigh inconsistency from the perimeter in workouts.
The Lakers would snap up Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns if the
MORE LAKERS NEWS: