We know what these NBA teams look like on paper. We know the names on the Thursday-NBA draft board. And we hear rumors everywhere.
What happens at the top of the NBA draft board surely impacts everything else.
Minnesota seems a lock at number 1-to stay with and draft Kentucky’s spectacular center Karl Anthony Towns.
The Lakers, for months, seemed destined to get Duke’s big center Jahlil Okafor, until what just happened in the last 30-days.
Spanish 7-1 center Kristaps Porzingas has shown up for private workouts, and has dazzled people. He is big, has huge reach, is a better jumper, plays bigger, and can run the floor. Some think he might be a bigger-longer version of Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzke.
And now when you start comparing notes, you start to wonder about Okafor-vs-Porzingas.
Okafor didn’t measure up to 6’11, more like 6’9 without sneakers on. He has offensive skills, but he is more power forward, than big center. He won’t jump out of the roof, though he is pretty tough to muscle off the block. He can shoot, but maybe he is at his ceiling right now.
Maybe Okafor’s shortcomings as an ‘athlete’ are the reason the Lakers called around to see if there was a trading partner that would allow them to get another number 1-pick, to take the bigger and more explosive Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin, who can run and shoot. No body seems interested, mainly because no one wants to drop from the 10th pick, the likely Kaminsky slot, to all the way to the 27th pick, even if LA throws in their second and a young guard.
If the Lakers change their mind with the 2nd pick, it sure sets off az chain reaction. Philadelphia needs a guard at three. The Knicks need a big body at four. Orlando needs lots of players at five.
At one point I got amped up when I thought of a Lakers front line of last years top pick, Julius Randle, along the baseline with Okafor and Kaminsky. That won’t happen now without a trade partner. And it might not happen either if Porzingas becomes their pick. The Lakers would wind up with a kid center, last year’s rookie forward, Kobe Bryant and 3-other guards led by Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington.
I just don’t know how imposing all that would be, for no-one really knows how good the Spanish star will be from the get go. He’s surely not a Pao Gasol.
Rumors, they are everywhere. Some involving the Lakers, a bunch involving the always-under-fire Knicks GM-Phil Jackson, and Boston GM-Danny Ainge, who has a bad team, and lots of draft picks falling out of his pockets, and seems ready to deal.
Stay tuned. What is rumor on Tuesday, could become fact on Wednesday, but then again, could all change by Thursday-draft day.