Yesterday Lakers fans were rewarded with a rare win when the Lakers procured the #2 pick in the lottery. Less than an hour after the victory, I was already being bombarded with questions. My fans want to know who they will draft. Have no fear LakHer fans, I am here! Christy and Teri, this blog is for you as promised.
I will fully admit, that I am not a big college basketball fan. It is simply not my cup of tea. However, I did watch the championship game, and I have done my research on the top picks, so here is my assessment:
All indications seem to point to the Lakers picking Jahlil Okafor. He is the center from Duke, and there are certainly some great reasons to pick him. Offensively he is a great and polished center. My biggest problem with him is his deficient defensive ability. He lacks shot blocking skills and appears to need a lot of work defending the paint. Also, he cannot shoot his free throws, and as Lakers fans we are all familiar with having centers who can’t hit their free throws. ***Cough Cough*** “Hack a Shaq” ***Cough Cough*** “Hack a Howard.” Do you catch my drift?
Do not get me wrong, I am not opposed to us drafting Okafor. I think he is very promising. If we keep Julius Randle and Okafor, then we can have “Twin Towers” again, and I really miss having two bigs. Additionally, the Lakers have been known to utilize Kareem’s coaching skills to polish players. I think a Coach K student would be very receptive to taking advice from one of the greatest centers of all time. Dwight and Bynum proved to be poor students, but I think Okafor would be Kareem’s sponge. Therefore, I have faith that under Kareem’s guidance, Okafor can improve his defensive game.
Before we all jump on the Okafor bandwagon, I would like the Lakers to take a good look at D’Angelo Russell: a combo guard from Ohio State. Personally, I would love for the Lakers to acquire a young guard for Kobe to mentor and take over the team. I think it would be a great transition for Kobe to use his last months with the Lakers prepping his predecessor. Theoretically, Kobe could do this with Okafor, but Okafor is a big with a completely different game. Plus, Kobe tends to clash with our centers. ***Cough Cough*** “Shaq” ***Cough Cough*** “Howard.” Sensing a theme yet?
I think Russell could be a great addition, and the Lakers are in dire need of a quality point guard. Despite his faults, I believe the Lakers will end up with Okafor, but Russell is my dark horse pick.
P.S. Stay tuned this summer for my full analysis covering free agency. I will discuss the players the Lakers should target, and the approach they should use.