Jahlil Okafor downplays importance of being No. 1 overall pick in NBA Draft
For what it’s worth, Jahlil Okafor, presumed to be either the top pick in the 2015 NBA Draft or at worst the second selection, indicated it doesn’t really matter to him where he goes, suggesting being the No. 1 overall pick is more about fodder for fans, not the individual player.
“I don’t know that I should go No. 1,” Okafor told SI Now. “I don’t care. I just want to go to the right environment for me and the right team. I think the hype about No. 1 is more for the fans.”
Okafor, along with Karl-Anthony Towns (posing together above), arguably are the consensus two top players in the draft, meaning one will head to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 1 pick and the other ending up with the Los Angeles Lakers, presuming no movement is made at the top of the draft board. Wolves head coach and top executive Flip Saunders has indicated that it’s highly unlikely the team will trade out of the top spot, although anything and everything a member of an NBA team’s brass says ahead of the draft needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Saunders did indicate that it is arguably a top-heavy draft but stressed there are plenty of great players available beyond Towns and Okafor in the top six or seven spots.
“It’s not that simple,” he said, via a Star Tribune report. “We have an idea but there are a lot of different directions we can go. … We have to rely on our ability to select the right players. This will give us great flexibility. Every spot you move up in the draft, you have more control over what’s going to happen and you have more people talking to you.”
Reports indicate that the Wolves are “genuinely torn” between Okafor and Towns — per ESPN’s Chad Ford — but one thing is for certain: Despite Okafor’s insistence that it matters little if he’s the No. 1 overall pick, the Timberwolves certainly are thrilled that the team has the option to make him just that.