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Jahlil Okafor says he’d be comfortable bypassing NBA draft, staying at Duke

Notre Dame v Duke

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 07: Jahlil Okafor #15 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 7, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 90-60. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called Jahlil Okafor a one-and-done player before the season even began. The center has been hyped for years as the No. 1 pick pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

Sure, other players – like Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell and Kentucky’s Karl Towns – have worked there way into the top-pick discussion, but Okafor remains a lock to be a high pick.

If he declares for the draft.

Okafor, via Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times:

“I know I’ll be in position to live my dream in the NBA or live my dream and stay here at Duke with people who truly love me,” he said. “I totally feel comfortable with staying here in college, and my family wouldn’t care one bit as long as I’m happy. They know how much I love being here.

“I love everything about Duke. I wish I could just stop time and be able to enjoy this as much as I can.”

Jabari Parker went through the same thing last year, and he – like most players in his position – ultimately turned pro. I’m sure playing at Duke is a lot of fun, and I’m sure Okafor would enjoy a second season in Durham. But when the money is in front of him, it’s difficult to pass up.

So fear not, fans of the Lakers and any other bad team. Okafor will still likely be available in this draft.

It’s just not a given.