The Los Angeles Lakers have been covering all of their bases heading into the NBA Draft, carrying on a host of pre-draft workouts in the weeks leading up to the big moment.
The NBA Draft is days away now, and a trade between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers centered around the No. 1 pick has brought further clarity to how June 22 will begin. The 76ers moved up in order to draft Markelle Fultz, effectively putting the Lakers on the clock already.
Los Angeles, long tied to UCLA Bruins star Lonzo Ball, has been anything but forthcoming about their plans with the second overall selection. The Lakers have have held second workouts with Josh Jackson and Ball, brought in De'Aaron Fox and Markelle Fultz for closer looks and still hopes to meet with Jayson Tatum before the draft.
Article continues below
New president of basketball operations Magic Johnson clearly has all of the Lakers' cards on the table, but with only days left to make a decision with the No. 2 pick, LA may finally be circling in on who they want with their third second overall selection in a row.
The name you can expect to be called on Thursday for the Lakers is Lonzo Ball, according to Chad Ford of ESPN's latest mock draft. The Lakers believed Fultz was the top prospect, but with the 76ers already locked in on him, it's sounding more and more likely that Lonzo is the pick.
Months of speculation about Ball landing in a Lakers jersey could be put to rest on Thursday. Lonzo has been outright about his preference to play for the purple and gold, never shying away from saying he'd love to represent his hometown team.
The Lakers would be set to run an interesting experiment in their backcourt featuring two No. 2 picks in Ball and D'Angelo Russell. There are definite questions about how they'd fit defensively, but offensively they could become a fast-paced duo that thrives together.
Jackson seemed like the biggest competition for Lonzo, but with some reports pointing to the Lakers' second workout with Josh not going well, Ball may have made the leap he needed to after Magic and Rob Pelinka spent the day watching Lonzo's workout routine in his own environment.
Whatever happens, the NBA is brimming with rumors and intrigue as the clock draws closer to what's shaping up to be an exciting NBA Draft. June 22 is set to be another marquee day for a league that's only growing in popularity and global appeal.