The debate over whether to select Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor with the No. 1 pick in this month's NBA Draft might have been settled at a private workout in Los Angeles this week.
Okafor wasn't even in the gym.
Towns — the former University of Kentucky standout — stole the show in Monday's workout alongside fellow lottery picks Willie Cauley-Stein and D'Angelo Russell.
No NBA front-office personnel were present, but agents for the players who participated did invite a select group to watch.
Never miss a local story.
DraftExpress.com analyst Jonathan Givony was there, and he has no doubt about who the Minnesota Timberwolves should select with the first pick in the June 25 draft.
"After seeing what I saw in that workout ... I don't see how you can pass on Karl Towns," Givony told the Herald-Leader. "I really don't."
Towns — a 7-footer from New Jersey — was already the favorite to go No. 1 over fellow center Okafor, the Chicago native who helped lead Duke to a national title as a freshman.
Since the beginning of the season, Givony has had those two players 1-2 in his mock draft, and he's said that either of them could be taken with the top pick.
That was still the case even after the Timberwolves won the No. 1 selection in the May 19 NBA Draft lottery.
"I no longer feel that way," Givony said Tuesday.
Towns was that impressive during Monday's workout.
The players were drilled in ball handling, shooting, footwork and post moves.
"And then it was, 'Here's the ball, go iso. Pick whatever move you want,'" Givony said. "Which I love, because it gives the player the freedom and creativity to show off whatever they feel like showing off. And you can see that Karl had quite a bit to show off."
The DraftExpress crew shot video of the workout, which showed a version of Towns that those who followed UK this past season might not be familiar with.
Everyone knew that he had post moves, a strong work ethic and an accomplished long-range jumper — though fans didn't see as much of the latter during his time at Kentucky.
The biggest revelation was his work away from the basket. He'll be a post player in the NBA, but Towns looked more like a point guard in those portions of the video.
"It absolutely surprised me," Givony said. "You don't see 7-footers who can dribble like that. How low he gets to the ground, and just how effortlessly he can handle and spin and pivot and jab — he doesn't look like he's 7 feet tall. He looks like he's 6 feet tall, the way he moves.
"That's just mind-blowing stuff, honestly."
That versatility — and Towns' superior defensive instincts — should be what ultimately separates him from Okafor when Minnesota is on the clock in three weeks.
Towns' shooting ability was another revelation out of Monday's workout.
He broke his high school's single-season record for three-pointers as a freshman, but phased out that part of his game in later years as he continued to develop as a post player.
Towns attempted only eight three-pointers as a Wildcat, making two of them. That statistic is not indicative of his potential.
Givony recalled UK Coach John Calipari's recent comments about preparing his players for a career in the NBA, and how that's the No. 1 goal of his program.
The analyst pointed to Towns' lack of three-point production as one sign of that.
"I really think he did that on purpose with Karl — forcing him to be a low-post guy, forcing him to toughen up," Givony said. "He just added a whole new dimension to his game. A lot of coaches would have just let him go out and do whatever he wanted.
"But he always knew that Karl was going to have that unbelievable skill level on the perimeter in his back pocket. And, now, he's a devastating inside-outside guy instead of being just another one of these stretch-fours. He's a versatile guy who can do everything."
And he's only going to get better.
(If you are experiencing problems view the video, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOhViCjSvKQ)
Towns will be 19 years old when he first steps onto an NBA court, and his game continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Givony elaborated on his shooting as one example.
He said Towns was clearly a capable three-point shooter when he showed up at last year's Nike Hoop Summit, but Givony said his release was much more "methodical" then than it is now.
A little more than a year later, "it's just coming out of his hand like he's shooting layups," he said.
That seems to be the case with just about every aspect of his game, whether it's his post moves, passing, ball handling or interior defense.
"Seriously, the sky is the limit for this guy. He has no ceiling," Givony said.
"The kid is 19 years old. I mean, what is he going to be two or three years from now? It's scary."