In truth, the Lakers already began preparing for the possibility they’d have a top three pick in this year’s draft even before actually securing it.
They met with Markelle Fultz, expected to be a top three pick, at the NBA draft combine — one of six teams with which Fultz met there.
On Tuesday night inside a New York hotel, the ping-pong balls smiled upon the Lakers once again. Los Angeles secured the second overall pick. Had that pick fallen to fourth or lower, it would have transferred to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the trade that brought Steve Nash to the Lakers in 2012.
Instead, the Lakers can now turn their attention to scheduling workouts with some of the draft’s top players. Many of them were waiting for lottery results before scheduling their workouts.
“A lot may change once you interact with them,” Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson said. “We interviewed Markelle Fultz at the combine last week. A bright young man and very talented. But we haven’t sat down with Lonzo [Ball] yet. We haven’t sat down with Josh Jackson yet, on and on and on. We’re going to look forward to doing that. It’s different when you can sit down and get a feel for the person and have them all in. That’s going to be fun, too.”
Fultz, out of Washington, and Ball, out of UCLA, are the draft’s top two point guards. Also in the mix at that level are Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, Kansas wing Jackson and Duke wing Jayson Tatum.
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