Laker fans, Laker haters, and even those 76er fans all had May 16th circled on their calendar since the 2017 regular season ended. Why? Because that was the day everyone would find out if the Lakers’ late-season win streak would gift-wrap a lottery pick and send it straight to Philadelphia.
However, it seems that the basketball gods were sporting their Laker jerseys when the Ping-Pong balls were flying; and to the sound of Laker fans’ giddy screams, Deputy Commissioner, Mark Tatum announced that the Lakers would have the #2 pick in the 2017 draft.
Also, shoutout to the basketball gods awarding hustle and good play by the Lakers and punishing the garbage tanking the @Suns tried to pull.— Brian H (@RunTheJules) May 17, 2017
Now that the pick is safely in the hands of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, what exactly is the organization supposed to do?
There has been a lot of conversation among NBA experts and fans specifically regarding that question, and from almost every angle, it looks like there are two options…
Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball.
This is what Lonzo Ball may be bringing for the Los Angeles Lakers pic.twitter.com/4UQEuKRYZh— NBALakersNation (@NBALakersNation) May 17, 2017
With Lonzo Ball, the Lakers would pick up a player who could possibly turn into a Jason Kidd type of point guard. Standing at 6’6”, Lonzo’s court vision has been raved about on every sports talk show from ESPN to HQ, and with an average of 7.6 assists at UCLA as a freshman, it’s evident why. Lonzo is known as a “pass-first” point guard whose focus is on making the teammates around him better. Additionally, the Chino Hills native can score, shown by his 14.6 point average in his freshman year. This makes him a threat from all over the floor, especially from his favorite shooting spot, which seems to be about 3-4 feet behind the three-point line.
The real question with the hometown hero though, is this: “Who will enjoy Lonzo being a Laker more: a) Lonzo b) the fans or c) that guy who keeps trying to sell us on $495 shoes?”
Lonzo’s UCLA Stats:
Another option the Lakers have is to draft the point guard out of Washington, Markelle Fultz. Simply put, Fultz is a scoring machine. In his first and only year with the Huskies, Fultz averaged 23.2 points on 47% shooting. Fultz would be a consistent scorer at the point guard position, which is something current Laker D’Angelo Russell has been criticized for. With smooth fashion and the ease with which he scores, Fultz might be a great piece for the Lakers to add to their roster of young talent.
Fultz’ Washinton Stats:
The article should end here right? We went over the top two prospects, what else is there?
But just like Ross Gellar, from Friends says, “There is a secret option number three!”
This route would consist of packaging the number two pick with someone like Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, or Jordan Clarkson and shipping them off to Chicago or Indiana for All-Stars Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
I mean, if you’re Chicago or the Pacers, why not take a deal like this? Both of those players have expressed unhappiness with their respective programs and if they were to leave, the teams would easily take promising youth over the choice of “diddlysquat” and “bubkiss”.
This option might be a bit unpopular, but it certainly seems like a possibility. Although the Lakers could draft a possible franchise player, the prospect of Paul George or Jimmy Butler slipping on a purple and gold jersey is too much to ignore for the organization; therefore, this option must be in consideration among the Laker brass.
Whatever the Lakers decide to do with the pick, whether it be draft the “score well, pass even better” Lonzo Ball, the dominant scorer Markelle Fultz, or even make some sort of deal, all Laker fans can take a big sigh of relief knowing that the 76ers hearts just broke a little bit.
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