The 2017 NBA Draft is about a week away and still, there is no guarantee of what the Los Angeles Lakers will do with their second overall pick.
The consensus for months has been that the team will draft UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, pairing him with D’Angelo Russell in a shooting and playmaking-heavy backcourt. But things have become interesting with multiple reports of the Lakers’ interest in other prospects, namely Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox, and Dennis Smith, Jr.
While Fox and Smith have seemingly impressed in their workouts for the Lakers, it appears as though the team has narrowed down their choice to the two prospects most perceive as potential targets with that pick. Narrowing that decision further, however, has not happened, yet.
According to Broderick Turner of the LA Times, the Lakers’ organization is still split on whether to draft Ball or Jackson:
But according to several NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter because no decision has been made yet, the Lakers are split over whether to use their No. 2 pick in the NBA draft on Ball or Jackson.
The Lakers, the officials said, have been having a healthy debate on which course to take because they are intrigued by the talents of both players.
The wording of this particular report is somewhat strange as Turner lists “NBA officials” as his sources, so (as always) take it with a grain of salt. It’s also important to note that there has been an unusually large number of reports indicating that Ball was not impressive in his workout while we have heard almost nothing about how Jackson fared.
But it’s not surprising that the Lakers have not made a decision between Jackson and Ball, yet. Both players give the team that drafts them at least one elite skill and multiple other potential ones, making this a particularly difficult decision.
The Lakers have already hosted Jackson for a second workout and are billed to do the same with Ball. That will add even more evidence to the pile for the front office to use in determining their path come June 22.