Good news for the
Instead, they'll draft second, behind the
"We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday," tweeted
The top prospects in the draft are probably Duke's
Okafor has the potential to be a true low-post scoring option. He'll need to play with a point guard who can make an entry pass -- not a given in today's modern pick-and-roll NBA.
He'll also need to be surrounded by shooters to space the floor. Okafor's biggest weakness would be on the defensive side of the game, an area where Towns shines.
Towns is the more versatile player. He is quicker on his feet, and a superior shot-blocker -- but not as polished a scorer.
Of course that's based on their play in college, Okafor winning the NCAA championship and Towns a part of a nearly undefeated Kentucky squad.
Both may eventually develop into All-Stars. The Lakers will presumably land the one overlooked by Minnesota.
The Lakers also need to do their due diligence. Russell is an intriguing prospect with sharp passing and shooting skills. Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China, isn't as good a shooter but is more athletic than Russell.
Whatever the decision, Tuesday was a huge win for the Lakers, who would have lost their first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the
The team will work out players in anticipation of the June 25 NBA draft. The franchise also has the 27th (via the
Julius Randle, the Lakers' 2014 seventh-overall pick, will be back on the floor next season after breaking his leg on opening night in October. The Lakers also stand to have roughly $23.5 million in cap room this summer, if they choose not to pick up
With Okafor or Towns, Hill would probably be superfluous at that price.
Bryant will also return from a shoulder injury in what is expected to be his final season, one that is suddenly looking a bit more promising with the Lakers' lottery luck.