With the second pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers and chipwilliamsjr select:
2) Jahlil Okafor, Center from Duke University
Photo credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
From GM chipwilliamsjr:
I know it's become a consensus that Karl-Anthony Towns is the best player in the draft, and that might be true. But the gap between he and Jahlil Okafor is marginal at best.
Okafor has all the measurements you want out of an NBA center: He's 6-foot-11, 270 pounds with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and enormous hands. But if you watched him run up-and-down the floor a few times, you wouldn't believe you're watching someone that weighed 270 pounds. Okafor moves very nimbly and with great fluidity.
But the main thing that NBA scouts are salivating over is Okafor's ridiculous talent on the offensive end. His matured and developed low-post game is something that you just don't see out of college big men very often. As a freshman last season, Okafor was a bulldozer on the block. He was able to move defenders to establish position with his back to the basket, and that's when he went to work.
Okafor is so quick and has tremendous footwork that he was able to pull off nearly any post move or countermove that he pleased. He fought through contact and double teams with ease, but showed a unique ability to pass out of the post in a moment's notice.
Okafor can also be utilized in pick-and-roll situations. He's strong enough to set crushing picks, and quick enough to release to basket where he's an elite finisher. He can also face the basket from mid-range where he is great at taking defender off the dibble and either finishing at the rim or finding an open teammate if he's doubled on the drive.
The biggest weakness and concern in Okafor's game is his defense. It's well documented that Okafor was not a good defender this past season, but it had a lot more to do with lack of effort than lack of skill. We all know that Okafor has the talent necessary to just about anything he wants on a basketball court, but he's going to have to commit to being a good defender. He has the necessary size, strength and quickness to hold his on defensively against anyone, but it will be up to his coaches to stress the importance of being a plus defender in the NBA.
For the Lakers, this is a no-brainer. Okafor is the best player on the board (and possibly the best player in the draft), and the Lakers and in desperate need of talent. Julius Randle will return from injury next season, and when paired with Okafor, the Lakers may have found themselves their starting front court for many years to come. Sure, they won't play much defense, but it's gonna be showtime, baby.
There you have it! The top two picks are in the books. Next up we've got JLGriz(z) and the Philadelphia 76ers with #3!
|#1||Timberwolves||Jonah Jordan||Karl-Anthony Towns|
|#23||Trail Blazers||Edwin Ortiz|