Draft preview: Lakers get a shot at Towns or Okafor

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The Lakers are more than relieved with how the lottery turned out.

Not only did they end up keeping their top-five protected pick, which they could have lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Lakers were the only team to move up in the lottery, doubling up from No. 4 to No. 2.

And that outcome puts them in position to take one of the two prized big men in this draft, Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke's Jahlil Okafor. ESPN insider Chad Ford has the Lakers selecting Okafor in his latest mock draftInsider, and he would give the Lakers a potential franchise center who would pair well with their first-round pick from last year, power forward Julius Randle.

The tremendously gifted Okafor is bit of a throwback because of his rather polished low-post game, but that will help make him much more effective on the offensive end early on.

With Okafor, Randle and All-Rookie first-team point guard Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers could have a strong, young core. Now factor in whomever they're able to get in free agency and perhaps later in the draft -- they also have the 27th overall pick -- and the Lakers could go a long way in rebounding from their worst season in franchise history.