The Los Angeles Lakers are sitting at number 2. Most mock drafts have them picking Jahlil Okafor at this spot. I decided to go in a different direction.
2) Los Angeles Lakers – Justise Winslow (SF – Duke)
The Lakers should go with Justise Winslow at number 2. I know Jahlil Okafor is a very good post player but I don’t think he fits with this team. The Lakers really don’t have a roster right now so they need some talent.
Their first round pick from last year, Julius Randle played in only 14 minutes before breaking his leg on opening night. Before the injury Randle was a guy who liked to attack the basket and get to his left hand. The lane would be crowded if the Lakers pick Okafor. We don’t know what Randle can do yet.
Again the league is changing. Point guards and wing players are dominating the league. Some people compare Winslow to James Harden but I see Kawhi Leonard. He’s not as big as Kawhi but he has a great wing span and is engaged on the defensive end. He can knock down an open shot and push the ball after grabbing a rebound. Big men are still important but the Western Conference has more dominate wings and point guards.
Okafor-Randle might work but most teams don’t have two bigs that clog the lane. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph play well off of each other because both guys can step out and knock down a shot. Winslow fits the Lakers because they need perimeter help. Kobe Bryant has been banged up and should not be trying to guard the best player on the other team. Winslow can develop into a great defender while learning from Kobe.
The Lakers must answer this question, “is Jordan Clarkson good?” He didn’t play early on but started to get minutes at the end of January. The more he played, the more he shot and the more he scored. Is he a solid player or just a guy who put up decent numbers on a bad team? He has good size for a point guard at 6’5. If the Lakers believe in him then they should not draft a point guard.
Winslow fits with this team. He works hard and won’t need the ball all the time. He can knock down an open three but he excels when he attacks the basket. A young core of Randle-Winslow-Clarkson could work. Randle has a high motor and after missing his rookie season he should come back with something to prove.
Winslow can probably guard three positions in the NBA. A dominate big is not more valuable than a Swiss army knife wing player.