There were reports that the Lakers would instead try to trade up with the Boston Celtics in order to get Washington guard Markelle Fultz after he "murdered" his workout and caused president of basketball operations Magic Johnson to "fall in love" with him, but it seems he might get swiped from right under their noses.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, "The Philadelphia 76ers are engaged in advanced talks to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft from the Boston Celtics" with the goal of drafting Fultz in mind.
Wojnarowski reports that the Celtics would get the Sixers' No.3 pick in the draft, and adding insult to injury for Los Angeles, the sweetener could be the Lakers' own 2018 unprotected lottery pick that Philadelphia owns as the last living vestige of the Lakers' ill-fated sign-and-trade for Steve Nash.
It certainly appears as though the two teams are on the verge of a deal:
Deal talks are far enough along that Fultz could be on his way to Philadelphia for a meeting Saturday, sources say. https://t.co/kR8vwZu8i2— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
The Lakers losing out on a pick the front office is so high on would be a bummer, but it's also important to keep a few things in mind.
For one, the Lakers are lucky to even have a pick, as their own selection in this year's draft would have went to the these very same Sixers had it fallen outside of the top-three.
Second, the Lakers are not in a position where they have enough young talent to just be tossing it out willy-nilly in order to move up one spot in the draft, no matter how much they love Fultz. Unless they think Fultz is some LeBron-level superstar and Lonzo Ball or Jackson aren't even close, then they can't afford to let Boston's public negotiations pressure them into the "Brooklyn type fleece" Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is reportedly seeking.
The Lakers might be out of luck in this case, but they should be happy their luck lasted this long.
Here is an updating list of every player the Lakers have worked out or met with. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.