Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell took down Duke center Jahlil Okafor yesterday for the second spot on the Liberty Ballers Community Big Board. Russell finished with 40% of the vote, beating out Okafor by just 20 votes. Croatian sensation Mario Hezonja took home third with 15% of the vote.
Frankly, it's a bit of a surprise. Okafor is the most talented post scorer in this draft, and spent this season showing off an array of moves that were quite impressive for just an 18-year-old. Talented low block scorers who can make an immediate impact on the NBA are really becoming extinct. Most of these draft eligible forwards and centers are super raw and need a handful of years to tap into their offensive potential. Okafor seems like the rare exception to that, along with one Joel Embiid.
Where Okafor and Russell both run into trouble is defensively; neither move great, nor can they really read a pick and roll. However, it's probably easier for a 180 lbs. guard to work on his agility and ability to fight through a screen than a 7-foot monster with legs like anvils. That's probably the only true edge I'd give to Russell in this battle.
But between Russell likely being a future Sixer and Okafor being a horrid fit in Philadelphia, maybe I shouldn't be too surprised who won.
In today's big board, Okafor, Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Justise Winslow, and Kristaps Porzingis are joined by newcomer are joined by Kentucky big man Willie Trill Cauley-Stein. Get comfy, Willie. You might be here a while.