As young hopefuls and wily General Managers prepare for the 2015 NBA Draft to get under-way in just a few hours speculation is mounting that the Los Angeles Lakers could spring a shock with their number two pick.
For the past several months most analysts, media members and NBA executives have been in agreement that Karl Anthony-Towns and Jahlil Okafor would be taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively with the first two picks of the draft.
Last minute switch?
Now, though, with the big night on the horizon rumors emanating out of LA suggest the franchise could bypass Okafor for another altogether more risky choice.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the growing consensus in the Lakers front office is that former Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell is the way to go with their prized pick.
"Although the Lakers respect Jahlil Okafor's size and skill (his defensive potential, not so much), momentum and consensus have been growing in the front office that Russell, not Okafor, is the special one.
Boom or bust
Russell has polarized opinion amongst many experts in the run up to the draft with his style of play making him something of a boom or bust type player. However, according to Ding, the Lakers have seen something in the young star that they like.
"The vibe from Russell has been that he fits the mould of a leader, a winner and a Laker."
Russell is a hugely exciting talent that has been described as a player in the Steph Curry mould with the confidence to match the compliment, so opting for him so early wouldn't come completely out of left field.
That being said, the combination of talent and physique that Okafor possess means many have him down to become a truly dominant big in the pros.
Unfortunately for the Duke man a disappointing second work out with the Lakers could be set to count against him as Russell swoops in.
Should the Lakers shock the league and opt for the more risky option of D'Angelo Russell the New York Knicks could be the ones to cheer the loudest.
With the Sixers' draft philosophy far from clear there is a scenario that could see Jahlil Okafor slip all the way down to number one, presenting Phil Jackson and the Knicks with a big man they can truly build around.
NBA fans: Who do you think will be the top three picks in the draft, and who should your team select? Have your say in the comments below...
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