As we inch closer to the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers are in fact-finding mode as they decide what to do with their second overall pick. The favorite is UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, although recent rumors have suggested that the Lakers may not be as enamored with him as initially thought.
Other prospects they could select with the pick include De’Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, and Dennis Smith Jr.
This past weekend, Magic Johnson and other Lakers front office staffers watched Fox take part in a workout. Next, they will bring Fox in to interview him and put him through the paces themselves next week, as Mark Medina of the Southern California News Group reported:
Not surprising: De'Aaron Fox plans to work out for Lakers and Sixers. Lakers' workout likely to happen mid-June (week of 11-17)
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 27, 2017
Fox’s visits are a good indicator of his draft range, as most don’t believe that he will fall past the Sacramento Kings with the fifth pick. While many still see Ball as the odds-on favorite to be selected by the Lakers, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com believes that Fox will make it a very difficult decision:
Lonzo Ball has never been a lock for the Lakers. Fox interview will blow them away. Mature, smart, handles the spotlight. A real option at 2
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) June 5, 2017
When the draft lottery results announced that the Lakers had the second pick, it seemed that Ball winding up in Los Angeles was almost a sure thing. With the Boston Celtics likely taking Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick, it looked as though the draft would not truly become interesting until the Philadelphia 76ers’ third overall pick.
Now, with rumblings that Ball may not be the Lakers’ selection, the number two pick is quickly becoming one to watch, with some even suggesting that Los Angeles could opt to trade down. Nothing is certain, and it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks leading up to the NBA Draft.