The Los Angeles Lakers avoided a catastrophe at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.
The Lakers and their fans were anxiously waiting to see if they would get a top-three pick in the draft in June — if it fell below three, the Philadelphia 76ers would get the pick, a fallout from the Steve Nash trade in 2012.
Furthermore, if the Lakers had fallen out of the top three, they would have had to give their 2019 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic, a fallout of the Dwight Howard trade shortly after the Nash trade.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they landed the No. 2 pick, meaning they keep their 2019 first-rounder and next year, their 2018 pick, will be unprotected and go the 76ers.
In the meantime, landing the second pick may set up exactly what many people have been hoping for — the Lakers drafting UCLA guard Lonzo Ball.
Ball, a Chino Hills, California, native has reportedly been on the Lakers’ radar, but more importantly, the Lakers have been on the Ball family’s radar. In an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, LaVar Ball, Lonzo’s father, said, “Oh, he’s going to be a Laker. I’m going to keep talking about it until it happens.”
On Wednesday, Shelburne reported Lonzo may only work out for the Lakers in the lead-up to the draft.
“Lonzo Ball is undecided on whether he will work out for teams other than the Los Angeles Lakers, a source close to Ball told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
“‘We will make that decision closer to June,’ the source said.
“The source added that it has been ‘clear from the start our desired destination is Los Angeles.'”
According to Shelburne, the Lakers are said to be considering several players with their second and 28th picks. The Boston Celtics, with the No. 1 pick, could take Ball, thus leaving the Lakers to look at other players like Washington’s Markelle Fultz or Kansas’ Josh Jackson.
However, the Lakers and Ball have long been considered a perfect fit. The Lakers need an injection of talent, and seem to be lacking at point guard as D’Angelo Russell hasn’t developed at the rate some thought he would. Ball, considered the best passer in the draft, has both the talent and flare to fit the LA market, plus it would help his family’s Big Baller Brand to stay in LA.
Things can change between now and June, but for the Lakers, it appears just about everything is shaking out right to continue their rebuild.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.