Lakers' week in review: Team pegs its future on D'Angelo Russell

Lakers' week in review: Team pegs its future on D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell points to the crowd after being selected by the Lakers in the NBA draft in New York on June 25. (Jason Szenes / European Pressphoto Agency)

The Lakers had a big week, selecting Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

Leading up to the draft, there was much speculation on who the Lakers would take, with the team seemingly leaning toward Duke center Jahlil Okafor. The dilemma was choosing between going with size over a skilled perimeter player.

The team even considered trading away the pick to the Sacramento Kings for forward/center DeMarcus Cousins, but a deal never materialized.

An oddsmaker had Okafor as the Lakers' likely pick but the Lakers feinted and went for Russell with their highest pick in decades -- a surprise, even to Russell.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak noted that despite his selection, the league still needs big men. Coach Byron Scott said Russell has the chance to be a superstar.

Russell, an uncanny passer, hopes to have his number on the Lakers' wall of retried jerseys, eventually.

Now the Lakers need to get significant size in free agency, which may be possible with what could be $22 million in cap room.

The Lakers worked out at least 83 prospects for the draft, but their plan seemed to be still up in the air on the eve of the event.

The team also selected forwards Larry Nance Jr. (27th) and Anthony Brown (34th).

The night didn't go on without some controversy. Nance deleted an old tweet that blasted Kobe Bryant. After a few days, Bryant said the issue was "water under the bridge."

Meanwhile, forward/center Ed Davis opted out of his contract with the Lakers.

Recent D-Fenders head coaching hire Conner Henry left the team to join the Orlando Magic coaching staff.

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