The Philadelphia 76ers already shook up the NBA Draft ahead of the June 22 start. The Sixers traded the No. 3 pick and another conditional pick coming in either 2018 or 2019. That trade moves Philadelphia ahead of the 76ers in the NBA Draft.
Los Angeles sits at No. 2 in the NBA Draft. What does the new draft order mean for the Lakers?
The trade all but confirms that Markelle Fultz will not be available when L.A. goes on the clock. That said, there is suspicion that the Lakers hold Ball over Fultz anyways.
“The Lakers’ suspicion that Ball might wind up being better than presumptive No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz,” Bleacher Reports Kevin Ding wrote in a recent article.
Thus, Lakers fans should rejoice that they could end up selecting the hometown pick via Thursday’s No. 2 pick. However, nothing is set in stone.
It is largely presumed that the Sixers paid a premium to move up to take Fultz. Nonetheless, what if Philly likes Ball more than Fultz too? Philadelphia could easily throw a curve ball by selecting Lonzo Ball with the No. 1 pick.
For the 76ers, they could easily stick it to the Lakers by taking the player that they want. This is especially true given that the Sixers would have got Los Angeles’ pick if it fell out of the top-3. Talk about pettiness.
“It is of that species, that is for sure,” Brown said. “It’s somebody that can guard the other point guard, it’s somebody that can make a 3 and can bring the ball up the floor from time to time. It’s a combo guy.”
This description could easily fit Ball as he is over six-foot-five so he can guard point and shooting guards. The UCLA standout also has one of the purest jumpers in the draft. Ball’s ball movement would compliment the rest of the scoring in Philadelphia’s lineup.
Ultimately, the Lakers would not mind getting Fultz at No. 2 if the Sixers did take Ball at No. 1. There is no indication if Ball would even want to play in Philadelphia given his desire to play for the Lakers. Either way, Ball would be the star of a roster that features a ton of young talent.
At the end of the day, nothing about the NBA Draft is set until it begins on Thursday. Still, Philadelphia just made it a little more interesting. Although unlikely, the 76ers could make it more interesting by drafting Ball too.