Lakers reportedly leaning toward drafting Russell over Okafor

Will the Lakers select D'Angelo Russell (right) with the No. 2 pick?

Godofredo Vasquez/Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Spor

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Minnesota Timberwolves will take versatile former Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

That sense of certainty ends at the No. 2 pick, where the Los Angeles Lakers sit. The popular belief has been that former Duke center Jahlil Okafor would be the no-brainer pick. But the Lakers, according to Bleacher Report, are leaning more toward former Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell.

According to the report, the Lakers were not that impressed with Okafor’s second private workout, but were enamored with Russell, whom they compared to Steph Curry.

The Lakers could also be freeing up space in their frontcourt, with the possibility of landing either Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom reportedly will be heading toward free agency. With last year’s No. 7 overall pick Julius Randle recovering from a broken leg, the Lakers probably want to avoid drafting a big man just in case they sign Love or Aldridge.

Yahoo Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that the Lakers also have exchanged framework on a potential DeMarcus Cousins deal, which would include Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the No. 2 pick.