With the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers have taken freshman guard D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor. Russell has potential to be a star with his lethal combination of skills, handles and elite shooting. He’s able to play and defend either guard position thanks to his size and length, at 6-5 with a 6-8 wingspan.
Russell showed nice anticipation skills defensively during his lone season at Ohio State, nabbing 1.6 steals per game, and he shot a lethal 41.1 percent from three-point land. Russell showed promise as a distributor despite playing off lead guard Shannon Scott most of the season, racking up five assists per game.
The lefty has a very well-rounded game. He needs to add strength to help him finish at the rim and provide more resistance to the drive, and an NBA workout regimen will help him with that. Russell needs to bring consistent energy on the defensive end, which he lacked at times at Ohio State thanks to the offensive burden placed on his shoulders.
Russell has elite skills that’ll make him an impact starting guard from Day 1 as he tries to help the Lakers’ rebuild. In time, Russell has the potential to grow into a standout in the NBA, making him arguably the top guard prospect in this draft.
2014-15 stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.6 spg (44.9 FG%, 41.1 3P%, 75.6 FT%)