Based strictly on his skills on offense, Jahlil Okafor is likely to be the No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes. The Duke freshman doesn’t project as a good enough defender to become an impact pro on both sides of the ball, and he isn’t a good enough athlete to have an extremely high ceiling, Howard-Cooper adds. “His offensive ability on the box,” one NBA executive said of the draft appeal of Okafor. “I’m not a huge Okafor guy. But I think the general consensus is that he’s the best player in college basketball.” Both ESPN and DraftExpress have Okafor projected to be the first player selected in this year’s draft.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Jamaal Franklin, who currently plays for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, is likely to receive an NBA callup soon, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Franklin appeared in 21 games for the Grizzlies last season, averaging 1.9 points in 7.7 minutes per game.
- Karl-Anthony Towns has overtaken Okafor for the top spot in Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com‘s (Insider subscription required) latest mock draft.
- Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said that he likes Quincy Miller, who is inked to a 10-day pact, and the team is considering signing him for the remainder of the season, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets.
- Wesley Matthews is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his torn left Achilles on Wednesday, the Blazers announced. Matthews, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is out for the season courtesy of the injury.