The Los Angeles Lakers have the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. This is about all we know for sure, but it hasn’t stopped a ton of different media sources from trying to guess what they’ll do with it.
First there were some (likely bogus) reports over the weekend that if the draft was that day that the Lakers would’ve passed on widely-presumed second overall pick Lonzo Ball of UCLA, which were followed up by Mike Trudell of ESPN LA saying he hadn’t heard anything like that from the Lakers.
Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com also somewhat refuted that earlier report, saying that several NBA executives” told him they “don’t buy” that the Lakers might pass on Ball.
So why would the Lakers allow smoke to leak out that they weren’t all in on Ball? According to one executive that spoke to Zagoria, it might be so they can try and get an extra asset to go with Ball:
One source suggested the Lakers might be open to trading down and want to create the impression that they are interested in Kansas’ Josh Jackson so teams who like him would consider trading up to get the No. 2 pick. The Lakers then could still get Ball or Fox after the second pick, the source suggested.
So the Lakers are definitely sold on Ball then, right? Maybe not:
Lonzo Ball has never been a lock for the Lakers. Fox interview will blow them away. Mature, smart, handles the spotlight. A real option at 2— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) June 5, 2017
The lesson here? Nobody knows what the Lakers are doing in the draft right now. Probably not even the Lakers, if we’re being totally honest, and there is nothing wrong with that! We’re only a few days into June, and with the draft not taking place until the 22nd, the Lakers would be being somewhat negligent if they already knew what they were going to do without all of the possible available information.
The Lakers are going to work out Ball this week, and De’Aaron Fox next week. Why should they make a decision before they get those guys into their gym, even if they do probably have an inkling of which way they’ll lean based on tape? The answer is they shouldn’t have made a decision already. They should use up all the time until the draft to do that so they can make the most educated pick possible.
Until then, the rest of this noise about their intentions is just that. Noise. Keep that in mind as the draft approaches.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our latest episode on bogus draft rumors below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.