The end of the 2016-17 season concluded with vast improvement for the Los Angeles Lakers, with the next major deadline in franchise history set for May 16, 2017. After speculation about the landing spot in the 2017 Draft Lottery, Magic Johnson and the Lakers were able to survive the scare and improve upon their expected results.
While flashing that signature smile, Johnson and the entire Lakers fan base were able to finally exhale, clinching the No. 2 spot in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. Los Angeles was able to avoid their top-three fallout with the Philadelphia 76ers and now have another top prospect set to join the organization.
Since they have clinched the No. 2 spot, their scouting becomes that much more concise. With a clinched spot at the top of the NBA Draft, the Lakers can now focus their scouting towards a specific portion of top prospects.
Most NBA mock drafts have guards Lonzo Ball (UCLA) and Markelle Fultz (Washington) listed as the highest rated prospects, each a respectively different player than can affect the game in multiple ways. When scouting these two players, the Lakers have to decide how to assemble and relate their roster to be completely in sync moving forward.
Fultz is a ball dominant guard, with explosive scoring abilities and is highly regarded as the most NBA ready prospect. The 18-year-old recently stated that he would relish an opportunity to learn from Johnson, in order to help mold his game towards becoming the best point guard in the NBA.
On the other hand, Ball is one of the few prospects with a play-making ability that makes his teammates around him better. Standing at 6’6″, he can read the floor and make decisions based on what the defense gives him, which is an up-tempo style of play that can benefit Luke Walton’s system.
The 2017 NBA Draft is set for June 22, meaning the Lakers have a little over a month to properly evaluate their choices, before potentially drafting the point guard of the future.