Report: Saunders still favors Okafor over Towns as NBA Draft nears


We are less than a month away from the Timberwolves announcing who their choice will be with the first pick in the NBA Draft.

It's the first time in the team's 26-year-history it has the top pick, but once that player is selected he will become the third consecutive top pick on the Wolves roster.

While the only person who really knows which way Flip Saunders will go is Flip Saunders, it is being reported the Wolves president and coach still favors Duke's Jahlil Okafor over Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns.

While it should be noted that ESPN Insider Chad Ford still predicts the Wolves will take Towns, he suggests Saunders still prefers Okafor.

"Karl-Anthony Towns is the No. 1-ranked player on my Big Board. However, virtually all the signals from sources inside the Wolves point to Jahlil Okafor being Flip Saunders' favorite right now. That obviously can change as we get closer to the draft. Workouts and interviews and lobbying from staff (I hear most of the rest of the staff favors Towns) could push Towns back atop. And after watching Towns' workout Monday, I believe that the Wolves will figure this out in favor of Towns."

The blog Silver Screen and Roll notes that while most NBA scouts think Towns is the superior prospect, Saunders is enamored with the polished post-ups and scoring ability of Okafor.

Sports Illustrated goes the other direction than Ford with its mock draft, saying the Wolves will select Okafor. It notes, though, that Towns is a better fit for Minnesota – suggesting Towns could benefit from playing alongside Kevin Garnett for a year.

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The NBA Draft is June 25.

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