There’s a lot to like about being the top overall pick in June’s NBA draft. The fame and fortune is obvious, but it should also be noted that whoever that player is gets to join a very promising young core, headlined by Andrew Wiggins (who developed very nicely during his rookie season).

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Okafor and Towns have battled before in the McDonald's All-American game. Now they'll be trying to talk Minnesota into why they believe the other one is the better player.
Okafor and Towns have battled before in the McDonald’s All-American game. Now they’ll be trying to talk Minnesota into why they believe the other one is the better player.

But in this year’s draft, being the No. 2 overall pick might be a more attractive option. The reward of hearing your name called second looks like it might outweigh the hype of being the first pick, simply because of how that sentence will begin: “With the second pick in the 2015 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select …”

Believe it or not, a lot of 19 year old kids (let’s call them Karl and Jahlil) think it’s more fun to live in L.A. and play with Kobe Bryant for one of the winningest franchises of all-time, than live in Minnesota and play for an organization that always seems to blow it.

Along with Kobe, the Lakers also have some solid young talent to surround the second pick with in Jordan Clarkson (1st team all-rookie) and Julius Randle (last year’s No. 7 pick who missed the season with a broken leg). As good as Wiggins is, L.A. is always the safer bet to begin an NBA career.

It sounds like Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are already starting a battle against each other to try and slip to No 2.

 
Well, isn’t the young Jahlil Okafor modest? Or … just smart. No official response from Towns yet, but we did get this Woj-bomb last night (which means there’s something behind it).  
In the end, I think Okafor “wins” and the Wolves pick Towns. If I’m Minnesota, I want a versatile big man that can learn from Kevin Garnett while he’s still there, and would be deadly in the pick-and-roll with Wiggins. That’s clearly Towns. And who knows? The Wiggins/Towns combo could carry them a long way.

This works for the Lakers too, because I think they want Okafor more — a pure scorer with great hands and great feet. Okafor and the Lakers just feel like a perfect match. Maybe Jahlil will take some advice from Kareem, unlike Andrew Bynum, who is doing just great out there on his own these days.

The 76ers and Knicks will take this outcome too, because the best player in this draft is going to be a guard, and they’ll land DeAngelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay. Everyone wins!

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