Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Lakers open to trading No. 2 overall pick

"Every way I'm a competitor".

Both are nearly certain to be available when the Lakers are on the clock, but management apparently wants to see what top prospect Fultz has to offer as well. "Lonzo is a great guard".

Lonzo, who was one of the four NCAA Player of the Year finalists and led the UCLA Bruins to a Regional Semifinals his freshman year, averaged 14.6 points per game and shot 55.1 percent from the field.

The Lakers were still taken with LaVar's other qualities, but they felt that his conditioning wasn't where it needed to be ahead of the workout.

Fultz is the fourth top prospect to have worked out for the Lakers at their facility. Ultimately, the Boston Celtics will have some say on who the Lakers choose because they do have the number one pick.

With the NBA Draft just one week away, teams are making their final preparations and bringing players in for last-minute workouts. LaVar's constant media coverage has helped to make Lonzo a household name, but will also leave him open for constant scrutiny from the moment he's drafted. The Lakers will also select No. 28, a pick they received as part of the Lou Williams trade earlier this year.

It's not that they are in bad shape offensively, as they have some good, young pieces with Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and a few others.

"It doesn't matter to me".

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Fox was already set to be a lottery pick, but that tournament game likely went a long way toward boosting him into the top five or six picks of the draft. Ball is eager to stay home with the Lakers, and he went through an extensive workout in El Segundo last week.

Still, Fultz considers himself superior to Ball and Fox, whose excellent defense is offset by his inferior shooting.

"It nearly feels like I belong here", Fultz said last week, via ESPN. Everybody else might think about it differently or something.

"It was a family decision", Fultz said of his willingness to work out for Los Angeles.

Perhaps the Balls have been ratcheting up their expressed desire to join the Lakers in response to a report that the team wasn't thoroughly impressed by his individual workout, from which LaVar was barred. "He probably needs to be a little bit more consistent shooting the ball".

Q: On what he learned about the Lakers: Fultz: Just building a better relationship with them.

"I thought about both", Fultz said. Either way, Fultz called both scenarios a "great fit". He'd be able to get the most out of D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and the other youngsters. "I think it would be really special". I remember writing down that I wanted to play in the National Basketball Association. "(Russell) can play off the 2", Fultz said. Jackson fits the mold of a two-way wing that is the engine of the best teams in today's league.

Either way, Fultz's landing spots could vary wildly when it comes to finding immediate team success. The Celtics made the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2016-17 season, while the Lakers had a 26-56 record in the fourth consecutive year they missed the National Basketball Association playoffs. He also felt a sense of belonging as he got acquainted with the history of the team as well as all the lore that goes with wearing Celtics green. "Of course coming here with the Hollywood life, it would be great publicity and get my brand out there and building myself". Nonetheless, Ball has that Steve Nash/Jason Kidd style that makes people want to play with the Lakers. They mostly spoke about off the court.

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