The Los Angeles Lakers aren't "locked in" to selecting a big man with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft and are "intrigued" by point guards Emmanuel Mudiay and D'Angelo Russell, according to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.
If Los Angeles selects either Mudiay or Russell, it could change the draft landscape for the Knicks significantly.
If the Lakers then take a guard, the Philadelphia 76ers, who select third, would be likely choosing between whichever top big man -- Okafor or Towns -- is still on the board and whichever guard the Lakers don't take.
Doing so would allow the Knicks to select whichever top big man -- Towns or Okafor -- the Timberwolves leave on the board.
Of course, Philadelphia could also opt to draft whichever big man is available at the third spot -- the possibility of them drafting one of the two bigs was noted by Chad Ford earlier this week. If the Sixers did that, it would leave the Knicks with the remaining guard.
If Los Angeles prefers to draft a guard, it could also look to trade down. But the Knicks don't have many tradeable assets outside of Carmelo Anthony, so it's hard to see them having enough to entice Los Angeles to trade its pick. It's worth noting that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak discussed a scenario in which the Lakers drafted a big man on Sirius XM Radio. But it's clear that the Lakers are not settled on what player they are going to draft at this point, as McMenamin notes.
Here's something else to think about when you consider the Knicks' options with the fourth pick: Ford believes the Knicks aren't fully sold on Mudiay.
Writes Pelton: "Having succeeded against far tougher competition in Spain, (Porzingis) figures to have more immediate impact, and he's only seven months older than Mudiay. Also, I have some concerns about how well Mudiay -- a poor shooter whose best attribute will probably be running the pick-and-roll -- will fit in the triangle offense. There's flexibility there, but a pick-and-roll-heavy style isn't what Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher ideally want to play. I would take Porzingis."