Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell says he’s the best player in this year’s NBA Draft. Still, by and large most experts have projected big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor to be the top two picks in some order. But there is reportedly a growing expectation among NBA front office execs that the Lakers will select Russell with the No. 2 pick. Word?

From Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com:

Away from the consensus, distanced from the assumptions, there is a logical case to be made for the Lakers to take Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell with the second pick in the June 25 Draft and not simply inherit the big man the Timberwolves do not take at No. 1.

 

There is such a logical case, in fact, that front offices outside Los Angeles buy the premise without hesitation. Russell is considered that good — “I would take him No. 1,” said an executive with a team that isn’t picking high enough to be impacted by the top five being shuffled — and the Lakers have that unique of circumstances.