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Rumor: Lonzo Ball must wow Lakers in workout, or they’ll draft Josh Jackson or De’Aaron Fox

UCLA Arizona St Basketball

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball (2) signals after making a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


If there’s a consensus No. 2 prospect in the 2017 NBA draft, it’s Lonzo Ball. The Lakers have the No. 2 pick.

Ball wants the Lakers to draft him. The Lakers are rumored to be enamored with the UCLA point guard.

Is Ball’s workout with the Lakers next week just a step toward the inevitable, them drafting him with the second pick?

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

With reports surfacing that the LA Lakers and former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball have finalized the details of a workout and face to face meeting in LA next week, there is a growing sense that unless Lonzo absolutely blows the doors off, he may not be the Lakers’ guy.

The Lakers are weeks away from needing to make their final decision, but there are many that believe the Lakers could go after both Kansas forward Josh Jackson and Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox (who made my Mock at 2 this week) with the second overall pick.

So much this time of year is a smokescreen, but there’s circumstantial evidence Ball believes the Lakers might pass on him. After his father, LaVar Ball, said he’d work out for only the Lakers, Lonzo is reportedly considering working out for the 76ers, who hold the No. 3 pick. It’ll be interesting to see whether he now gives the No. 1-picking Celtics the time of day after previously rebuffing their workout request.

Personally, I see Ball in the mix with Markelle Fultz for the top prospect in this draft and Jackson and Fox a peg or two below. Some smart people disagree.

The draft is still a few weeks ago, and there’s time to gather more information. Ball’s fortunes are not set. For someone who wants to play in Los Angeles, he better nail this workout – just in case the Lakers’ reservations are real.