On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers worked out Markelle Fultz at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. The workout was considered to be a courtesy with both sides being on the safe side, but it may have turned out to be much more than that.
According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Magic Johnson is all about Fultz and may want to make a substantial trade to land the Washington Huskies product:
Multiple sources have told me that Magic "is in love" with Fultz. May try to move up to #1, possibly with a Julius Randle + #2 pick offer.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 16, 2017
Rumors have been swirling for weeks about the Lakers and their intentions with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. Most believed it was a foregone conclusion that the team would simply draft Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, but now speculation has run rampant about all sorts of scenarios.
Fultz, who is widely expected to be taken No. 1 by the Boston Celtics, is apparently in play for the Lakers if Danny Ainge and company are willing to make a deal that involves Randle. The Philadelphia 76ers are also said to be interested in moving up to No. 1 overall making things interesting for all three teams at the top of the draft on June 22.
If anything can be taken from all this speculation, it is that nothing is set in stone right now in terms of the draft order or who goes where next week. It would be safe to assume the Celtics are being aggressive in trying to find a trade partner and getting multiple picks in exchange for the chance to draft Fultz.
It’ll be interesting to see if the new Lakers regime is willing to get into a bidding war with the 76ers if Magic is truly determined to land Fultz in the draft.