Point guard Lonzo Ball out of UCLA is expected to be one of the first few players taken in the upcoming NBA Draft on June 22. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will likely be calling Ball’s name anywhere between the first and third pick during the draft with the Los Angeles Lakers potentially having the opportunity to be one of those teams.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, and any team that ends up in slots one to three in the draft, Ball won’t be attending the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania:
Sources: Possible top pick Lonzo Ball formally informed NBA today he will skip the Draft Combine. Several top prospects expected to do same.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 29, 2017
Although Ball won’t be attending the draft combine which takes place on May 9-16, Washington’s Markelle Fultz likely to attend. Ball and Fultz are currently in contention for the top pick in the draft along with Josh Jackson out of Kansas and possibly Duke’s Jayson Tatum.
Ball will continue to be considered a top prospect regardless of whether he attends the draft combine. Fultz, however, could potentially improve his draft stock and become the consensus No. 1 pick if he impresses teams at the combine in Chicago next month. The former Huskies guard won’t be doing on-court activities, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman:
Another source said that Fultz, as of now, is likely to attend but won’t do on-court activities.
As for the Lakers, the storied franchise will continue to hold out hope that the balls bounce their way during the NBA Draft Lottery. The team’s fate in the upcoming draft will be determined on May 16 with the Lakers having a 46.9 percent chance of keeping their top-three protected pick. Los Angeles also has 15.6 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection with the Brooklyn Nets, who will send their pick to the Boston Celtics, having the best odds to get the top pick at 25 percent.
Even if the Lakers lose their lottery pick, the team still owns the Houston Rockets’ first-round draft choice as a result of the Lou Williams trade back in February. The team will keep their second-round draft pick if they fall out of the top three in the first round otherwise it will go to the Orlando Magic as a result of the Dwight Howard trade.