May 28, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: Stephen Patrick
The Case for Russell
The Los Angeles Lakers may be one step closer to reaching the mountain top once more. Head coach Byron Scott represented the purple and gold at the NBA Draft lottery and they came out winners. The Lakers ended up with the second overall pick in one of the most loaded draft classes in many years. It is huge for the future of their franchise, especially with Kobe Bryant coming off injury while entering the last year of his contract. The 2015-16 NBA season potentially may be his last. The Lakers now have a golden ticket to find the next great Laker guard. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are expected by most to be the top two picks in the draft, but since the league has been taken over by guard play, the Lakers may need to go with in a different direction.
Over time the point guard position has evolved and changed more than any other position in the NBA. It also might be the most important position in the game often refer to the quarterback of the team. The “pass-first” floor general type of point guard still exists, but so do the point guards that refuse to be held in a box and be just a facilitator. Looking into the future, the Lakers have a player that they can draft with the second pick in Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell. Russell has all of the tools to become something special at the next level. His potential to be an NBA star is just too great. Los Angeles has a need at the guard position. D’Angelo has the dynamic ability to be the next star for the Lakers when Bryant does decide to retire.
During his freshman season with the Buckeyes, Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He also shot 44.9 percent from the field overall and 41.1 percent from behind the 3-point line. At 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds, Russell has the size to be an NBA shooting guard. That would likely be his long-term position, although he could end up starting at point guard during his rookie season.
Bryant has always been the type of player who pushes players to get better. Russell will gain the respect from Kobe, by his hunger to be the best. Needless to say, the Lakers can’t go wrong with taking anyone with the second overall pick, because the depth of this class may be one of the best. Most of the 2015 NBA Draft class would probably end up being good players, but the big picture shows the Lakers need for a dynamic scorer. Julius Randle, the Lakers 7th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft was sidelined with a leg injury, but he will come back next season at full health to help fill the front-court void, while Russell would be an immediate scoring threat.
It is going to be intriguing to see what the Lakers do on draft day. Expect to see the Lakers consider Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell as the draft nears. D’Angelo is an extremely talented guard who can play either position and has the potential to become a superstar in the NBA. With Kobe Bryant’s career coming to an end, the Lakers need to figure out who his replacement is going to be for the future. With the 2nd pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, D’Angelo Russell should be at the top of the Lakers draft board Thursday, June 25th.