Lakers will meet with Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox at the NBA combine
The Lakers are checking out the two best players at the combine.
The team’s brass met with Washington point guard Markelle Fultz on Wednesday at the NBA draft combine, sources said. Fultz is widely considered one of the two best point guards in the draft, along with UCLA star Lonzo Ball. Fultz did not participating in the five-on-five drills that begin today, nor will he conduct media interviews.
The Lakers also plan to meet with Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox on Thursday. Fox did not participate in the five on five games either.
Players are allowed 13 meetings during the combine, according to the league. Teams may meet with up to 20 players. The meetings can last no longer than 30 minutes.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka and coach Luke Walton are all at the combine to study players. Assistant coach Jesse Mermuys is one of the head coaches for the scrimmages, which begin Thursday.
It’s unknown whether the Lakers will have a lottery pick. If their pick falls out of the top three, they will surrender it to the Philadelphia 76ers. Both Fox and Fultz are expected to be lottery picks. Fultz is expected to go in the top three while Fox could as well.
Fox had an impressive game in the Sweet 16 against UCLA. He scored 39 points, outplaying Ball, who played injured and scored 10. Johnson attended that game.
“I don’t know if he knew Magic was there,” Kentucky Coach John Calipari said. “He was focused on UCLA. Played good. He’s a great kid. … He has a buzz about him. He has a spirit about him. Yet, he was like Karl [Anthony] Towns. Never left his room. Karl Towns never left his room and neither does this kid.”
If the Lakers draft a point guard next month, they could pair him in the backcourt with D’Angelo Russell. Russell, the second overall pick in 2015, was the Lakers point guard for most of the season until Walton removed him from the starting lineup for a few games. When he returned, he played shooting guard alongside Jordan Clarkson.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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