The Los Angeles Lakers have secured the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

This was confirmed during the NBA draft lottery on May 19.

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the first overall pick, but Lakers fans are raving about getting the second pick.

How do we know this?

For one, a May 19 LakersNation.com article by Russell Valenzuela about the Purple and Gold getting the second pick in this year’s draft has more than 18,000 Facebook shares as of this writing.
 
We can’t blame Lakers Nation for being so excited about this opportunity.

The Lakers finished with the league’s fourth-worst record at 21-61 (.256) in 2014-15. They have won a combined 48 games in the last two seasons.
 
Their 21-win campaign this year is their worst since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1960. They haven’t been this bad since 1974-75, when they finished just 30-52.
 
Bill Sharman coached that Lakers squad. Some of those who suited up for that team include Gail Goodrich, Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins, Pat Riley, Cazzie Russell, Elmore Smith and Kermit Washington.
 
Next season, the Lakers figure to have Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Julius Randle and either Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns.

It’s still a young squad but it has definitely taken a step in the right direction.

And it all starts with a stroke of good luck in the NBA draft lottery.  

 

Los Angeles Lakers Secure Second Overall Pick in 2015 NBA Draft Lottery

 
The Los Angeles Lakers will pick second overall in the 2015 NBA draft.

According to LakersNation.com’s Russell Valenzuela, the Lakers had an 11.9 percent chance of getting the first overall pick this year.
 
Heading into Tuesday night’s draft lottery, the Purple and Gold had the fourth-best odds of picking first overall by virtue of their fourth-worst win-loss record, per Mike Trudell of the Lakers’ official website.
 
While the 10 teams from fifth to 14th stayed in their allotted positions, the Lakers and New York Knicks (who had the second-best odds because they finished 17-65 in 2014-15), switched draft slots. Los Angeles wound up second while New York ended up fourth, per Trudell.
 
Valenzuela says it’s the highest draft position the Lakers have had since they selected North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Worthy first overall in the 1982 NBA draft.


 
Lakers head coach Byron Scott, Worthy’s former teammate, told The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan on Tuesday about his optimism in getting the first or second overall pick:

Big-time night for us. I think this is obviously a step in the right direction for the franchise and the process of being back to where we know we should be in the next year or so.

I just felt in my heart and my mind that we were going to get No. 1 or No. 2. I don’t know why I felt that way. I just did. I’m very happy that it came to fruition.

With Kentucky Wildcats center Karl-Anthony Towns being touted by many draft experts as the No. 1 overall pick, LakersNation.com predicts Los Angeles could very well pluck Duke University’s Jahlil Okafor, Ohio State University’s D’Angelo Russell or the Guangdong Southern Tigers’ (of the Chinese Basketball Association) Emmanuel Mudiay.

The Lakers also own the 27th and 34th overall picks this year, per Valenzuela.

 

What the Lakers do now

 
Getting the No. 2 overall pick is huge for the Los Angeles Lakers.

If they do end up getting either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, they definitely have something to build on. Los Angeles hasn’t had a big-name center since the days of Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.
 
That being said, Jordan Hill is not the long-term solution at the 5-spot. Give him credit, though, he’s put in the work to get better.

Towns and Okafor are both freshmen, so they have a lot of growing up to do. But both guys have the tools and the athleticism to get it done in the pros. They just need to be patient. In a separate LakersNation.com update, Valenzuela says scouts compare Okafor to a young Tim Duncan, a player with so many moves down low. On the other hand, Towns is the more versatile player because of his defensive prowess and athleticism. He averaged 2.2 blocks in just 21 minutes per game, per Valenzuela.
 


 
According to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding (via LakersNation.com), the Minnesota Timberwolves seem to prefer Okafor over Towns, leaving the door open for the Purple and Gold to select the latter at No. 2 in next month’s draft.
 
This is good news for the Lakers as they severely need help in stifling opposing squads—they were the second-worst defensive team in 2014-15, allowing 105.3 points per game.
 
However, should the Timberwolves somehow select Towns over Okafor, Valenzuela says the Lakers might lean more toward point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, a 19-year-old Congolese-American point guard who played in the Chinese Basketball Association last season.
 
Should they nab Mudiay, it would present a possible upgrade over Jeremy Lin at the 1-spot. The Lakers could use some depth at the position, especially after the failed Steve Nash experiment.

However which way you look at it, the Lakers locking up the second overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft is a victory they will savor for years to come.

 

[Photo: Bleacher Report]

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