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Byron Scott might not be the Lakers coach much longer, because he’s garbage (adj.) at it, but he still represented the Lakers at the draft lottery and gave a little wink when they landed the second overall pick. The consensus seems to be that the top two picks will be Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. In that order? Probably. In reverse order? Maybe. But the Lakers could screw that all up by being big-time jerks.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (via Pro Basketball Talk), if Towns goes number one, the Lakers may take a guard – probably Sixers target D’Angelo Russell – with their pick, totally being dicks.
“Basically, the Lakers aren’t locked into K-AT or Okafor no matter what at this point, per source,” McMenamin said. They’re “intrigued by Mudiay/Russell.”
No you aren’t, Lakers. You love Okafor. Okafor is your guy. Look at how good he looks. He’s the man you’ve always wanted. These aren’t the guards you’re looking for.
The Lakers passing up on Okafor (who the T’Wolves reportedly like better anyway, for what it’s worth, so none of this might matter) could be a mess for the Sixers. Even if they pass on him for Mudiay, there’s no guarantee Hinkie will take Russell over Okafor. He may very well just think Russell is better. He may even think Mudiay is better (he was supposedly the only NBA GM to watch him play in person). But we just don’t know. Experts (aka people I follow on Twitter) all seem to agree that Okafor, on this team, is a bad fit. I side with them.
I trust Sam Hinkie. I do. But sometimes it’s best to have things shaped a bit for you rather than having free reign over whatever you want. That’s why many Sixers fans were (quietly) hoping the Sixers fell right into that number three spot. It’s a high pick, but not so high that Hinkie can take another big man. It’s like a dude with 15 degrees in different fields. Sure, you’re smart all around, but if you just focused on one thing we’d have flying cars by now.
The fans want the best team and the best players possible. But to start making the move forwards — which everyone wants the Sixers to start doing, you gotta fill out that starting five a bit. But, on the other side of the coin, next season should bring in four first round picks (barring future trades) and Dario Saric. Maybe this time next year we won’t even believe we were having this conversation. Maybe the Lakers pick Okafor. Maybe this nervousness is for nothing. But it’s still there.