Byron Scott says D'Angelo Russell has a chance to be a superstar

Byron Scott says D'Angelo Russell has a chance to be a superstar
Point guard D'Angelo Russell points to the crowd at Barclays Center after he was selected by the Lakers with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. (Jason Szenes / EPA)

Lakers Coach Byron Scott thinks highly of the Lakers' selection of 6-foot-5 guard D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft on Thursday.

"[We chose] the best guy available," said Scott. "Watching D'Angelo work out. Watching tapes of him at Ohio State ... we really felt this kid was special."


The Lakers passed on Duke center Jahlil Okafor to go for Russell, who can play either guard position.

"It wasn't an easy decision either way, but it was a decision that either way we make, we were going to be in pretty good shape," said Scott. "I think Okafor is going to be a good center in this league. I just think D'Angelo has a chance to be a superstar."

The Lakers worked out Russell twice. The first by himself, the second in a three-on-three-scrimmage.

Russell was strong in his first meeting, but really blew them away in the group setting.

"When he came back and he went three-on-three, you saw the leadership qualities that he had," said Scott. "You saw the ability he had to pass the ball and make other guys better, the ability to get to the basket, the ability to knock down threes."

The Lakers have Kobe Bryant returning from injury and last year's 46th overall pick Jordan Clarkson, who was named to the NBA's all-rookie first team.

Scott said Russell still has to prove himself.

"He wants to be great," Scott said. "He still has to earn it. He still has to come every day and work his butt off."

Scott coached Chris Paul when he first came into the league with the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans).

"I think he could be one of the better [point guards] that I've had," said Scott. "Just starting right now, coming in like Chris Paul when he was 19, 20 years old, I think he's on that level, from what I've [seen] so far at the workouts."

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