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Draft Notes: Lakers, Johnson, Berzins, Payne

The Lakers would prefer Karl-Anthony Towns to Jahlil Okafor, but Towns appears to be the player that the Timberwolves are targeting with the top pick, as Chris Mannix of hears (Twitter link). L.A. has swung and missed on attempts to have Towns in for a workout, while Mark Heisler of heard recently that Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders has become enamored with the Kentucky big man. The Lakers have zeroed in on Okafor if Towns is off the board, as Mannix reported earlier. Here’s more on the rapidly approaching draft:

  • Stanley Johnson is refusing to work out with the Hornets, who pick ninth, in hopes that either the Pistons, at No. 8, or the Heat, with the 10th pick, will draft him, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Latvian small forward Janis Berzins is working out for the Spurs and Celtics in addition to his audition with the Jazz this past Friday, as VEF Riga, his Latvian team, revealed via Twitter (translation via HoopsHype).
  • Cameron Payne has worked out for the Lakers, Kings, Nuggets, Pacers and Thunder, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. In addition, Payne held a meeting with the Celtics.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said earlier this week that he has workouts left with the Jazz, Kings and Hawks, tweets Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.
  • Justin Anderson recently completed his eighth workout, Castillo tweets. He has the Cavaliers and Thunder remaining.
  • Larry Nance Jr. tells the Associated Press he has worked out for “about a dozen” teams, including the Spurs, Sixers, Celtics, Suns, Heat, Pacers and Knicks. The last workout on his schedule will be Wednesday with the Cavaliers.
  • Pat Connaughton has managed to fit more than a dozen teams into his workout schedule, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The Notre Dame product has received positive reviews at most of the workouts and has a chance to be a second round pick, Himmelsbach writes.
  • Kevon Looney has worked out for “nine or 10 teams,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of One of those sessions was with the Celtics on June 17th, writes Josh Slavin of

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

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