The Los Angeles Lakers don’t know the fate of their top-three protected pick yet — unless you ask Magic Johnson who’s strangely confident they’ve got it in the bag — but they have their eye on one particular player, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
The Lakers “appear to be enamored” with Lonzo Ball, according to Ford, claiming Ball has the potential to add “star power” to the Lakers as they “desperately” search for it. Ford broke down how he reads the tea leaves come draft night, shedding some insight on a fascinating incoming draft class.
Ford believes the Lakers would draft Ball should they land the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz at No. 2 and Josh Jackson at No. 3. He also singles out Jackson as the “most likely pick” for Los Angeles.
“Jackson is the best two-way player in the draft. His ability to lock down players at three positions, combined with his athleticism and playmaking abilities, have some teams comparing him to a young Andre Iguodala,” Ford writes.
“Luke Walton should know exactly how to use him in the Lakers’ system.”
It’s interesting to read that the Lakers are that honed in on Ball, especially as the story thus far is all about how openly Lonzo has campaigned to be the Lakers’ pick. He’s gone on record numerous times stating he’d love to wear the purple and gold.
This could all mean nothing, of course. The Lakers won’t officially know their fate until the May 16 NBA Draft lottery, though Magic’s let head coach Luke Walton know there’s nothing to worry about. Strange times, these are.
Lonzo is obviously one of the most talented players entering the draft. He was born in Anaheim, went to high school in Chino Hills and was a star for UCLA. Clearly he’s a local product, and any hoops lover growing up in Southern California has soaked in their fair share of Lakers basketball. If the Lakers do end up drafting Lonzo, it will be quite interesting to see what comes next.
Do they play him alongside D’Angelo Russell? Who would play point and who would play shooting guard if they do that? How would drafting Lonzo affect Jordan Clarkson’s role as secondary guard? The thought opens up many questions, but none of them matter until the Lakers actually secure their top-three pick.