Report: Lakers moving closer to picking Lonzo Ball No. 2

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

The 76ers are trading up for the No. 1 pick to take Markelle Fultz.

After that, there has been uncertainty with the Lakers pick.

Lonzo Ball was long expected to be the selection, but the Lakers kept sending signals they weren’t enthralled with him. Were those smokescreens? A consequence of a divided front office? Another possibility – that the Lakers truly don’t want to draft Ball – seemed, by far, the least likely.

Especially now.

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Sources in L.A. say that the Lakers have been moving closer and closer to selecting Ball in the past 48 hours. More than ever, he’s the heavy favorite to get his wish to play for his hometown team.

This’ll be welcome news to Ball, who wanted to stay in Southern California.

It’ll also create an awkward fit with D'Angelo Russell. They can somewhat complement each other offensively, Ball pushing the pace and Russell running the half-court offense. But there’s too much overlap for comfort with the lead ball-handlers. (And there all those defensive questions.) Of course, the Lakers could always trade Russell, especially in their push for another first-round pick.

Still, if Ball is the best prospect available after Fultz – I think he is – the Lakers should draft him and sort out the rest later.

The Celtics are now seemingly down to Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum – if they keep the No. 3 pick.

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