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The closer we get to the NCAA championship game, the closer we get to the NBA Draft.

And with the regular season just weeks away from being over with, bottom-tier teams have their collective eyes on some of the top collegiate players.

While discussing the Lakers’ prospects on ESPN radio, reporter Ramona Shelburne discussed who the team would potentially take if it landed the No. 1 overall selection.

Via Lakers Nation:

“Karl [Anthony Towns]. I’m telling you half the league would pick Karl first. Yes. He has the much higher ceiling. [Jahlil] Okafor is the more ready to play guy right now. He’s the guy that’ll help you sooner, faster. Like if Phil [Jackson] gets the number one pick, he’s probably taking Okafor in New York because he can’t wait around.” 

It’s not shocking to hear teams would prefer Towns if you’ve watched the trio play, but a much higher ceiling? That seems a bit excessive.

He’s a legit 7-footer with high energy and effort, but occasionally he struggles with his post game. With the sheer lack of legit centers in today’s NBA, this weakness might be relatively easy to turn around quickly. He’d be a nice fit next to Julius Randle in LA or in Minnesota.

Okafor is pretty much the opposite of Towns, and he’d surely be an intriguing fit next to Carmelo Anthony in New York or with the youngsters in Minnesota. Russell also has the look to have a smooth transition from college to the pros. He’s got a nice jumper, can control the pace and has great length. He could be a nice fit in Philadelphia.

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