The Crimson White

Lakers should draft Jahil Okafor

Robert Willett

Robert Willett

Duke's Jahlil Okafor (15) gets called for a foul on Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky (44) during the first half of the NCAA National Championship game on Monday, April 6, 2015, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS/MCT) 

Marquis Munson

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Earlier this week, it was reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the No. 1 pick, are going with Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns. That leaves the second-best big man, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. If the Lakers are smart, they draft Okafor with the 
No. 2 pick.

Having a talented big man in basketball is almost like having a talented running back in football. Yes the running back position is a dying breed, but once you get the right one, that is a definite game changer.

Okafor has his flaws. He lacks an outside shooting ability, and he can’t play defense consistently. But at 19, he can work on those skills. His moves in the low post and his basketball IQ are better than any player in the 2015 draft class. He is more physically NBA-ready than other lottery picks in this draft.

Okafor has a winner’s mentality. In his one year with Duke, he helped win the 2015 NCAA championship. That eagerness to win is exactly what Kobe Bryant and the Lakers need.

The Lakers need to go with a player on the inside, not the backcourt. When you have a big man as talented as Okafor, you can’t pass on him.

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Lakers should draft Jahil Okafor