After a nice, quiet day Wednesday, NBA Draft day is kicking off with a doozie of a rumor. ESPN’s Chad Ford released his latest mock draft and, as per usual, had plenty of nuggets to offer up.
Ford is of the opinion the Lakers have a good idea on what they’re going to do with their second overall pick; it’s just a matter of how they use it.
“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,” Ford writes.
Seems straightforward enough. He goes on:
“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.”
Wait. No. Bad Magic. Bad.
It should quickly be pointed out that this doesn’t feel like a hard-lined report. There’s plenty of wiggle room, especially in regards to whether the Lakers trade the pick.
Preferably speaking, the Lakers would draft Ball second and avoid giving up two of its most valuable assets (after the D’Angelo Russell trade) in moves that didn’t have to take place this summer.
Let’s say the Lakers are concerned about another team swooping in to nab George and keeps him happy enough that he decides to stay there long-term. Well, the reverse of that scenario is also nearly as likely.
If the Lakers move heaven and earth to grab George this summer (against his wishes, per multiple reports), don’t have enough assets to get him enough help to want to stick around and he leaves after the season, they’re literally in the same predicament as they were a few years ago.
Frankly, this scenario doesn’t get brought up enough.
The draft is mere hours away and at that time, everyone can find out if this has all been conjecture, but until then, fans should be praying that this green front office can remain patient enough to keep the long-term interests in mind.