It’s officially NBA Draft day, just over one month after the Los Angeles Lakers had Lady Luck smile down on them once again. Landing the No. 2 pick for the third year in a row was a huge victory for Magic Johnson and the Lakers, and they’re set to make use of that pick Thursday night in Brooklyn.
The last set of mock drafts are crawling out into the daylight, offering up a heavy confirmation that Lonzo Ball is set to be a Laker in a few short hours. The Lakers sending D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets all but sealed that deal, but it’s notable that De’Aaron Fox seems to be a long shot at best.
Chad Ford of ESPN, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Ricky O’Donnel of SB Nation and surely just about every projection out in the wild points to the Lakers selecting Ball No. 2. What seemed like destiny months ago could be coming to fruition very soon for Lonzo and the Lakers.
Here’s what Ford had to say about Lonzo to the Lakers on draft day (via ESPN):
The Lakers started sending signals over the weekend that Ball was going to be their guy if they kept this pick. The trade of D'Angelo Russell to the Nets is yet another piece of evidence that Ball is coming.
Ball is a great fit in L.A., and probably an even better fit with Russell changing coasts. His elite court vision and ability to make everyone around him better are highly valued by the Lakers, and they should be. He has a funky shot and is a poor defender right now, but neither of those issues should eclipse what a wizard he can be on the offensive end.
The only thing that derails this scenario now is if the Lakers feel as if they have to part with the No. 2 pick to get Paul George.
It appears the only thing that can stop Lonzo from becoming a Laker is a trade to the Indiana Pacers, but it’s unclear if Los Angeles is willing to include the pick in a swap for Paul George.
Reports have pointed to the Lakers offering picks No. 27 and 28, and either Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle as the package on the Pacers’ doorstep. Both the No. 2 pick and Brandon Ingram have been lumped into the “untouchable” portion of the Lakers’ assets, based on what’s been reported up until this point.
Barring something drastic, it appears Ball is headed to the Lakers.