With a week to go until the 2017 NBA Draft, any number of scenarios can still play out. While the Los Angeles Lakers have been under question regarding their decision with the second overall pick, what’s been viewed as consensus is who they will not be able to choose.
Nearly everyone expects the Boston Celtics to draft Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the top pick. But one executive reportedly believes that the Celtics will go after a certain Kansas wing instead.
Following from ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider):
“I’ve picked (Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s) brain for years,” one GM said. “Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he’s keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I’m convinced they’ll take Jackson No. 1.”
That would be a legitimate shock but a potentially great scenario for the Lakers. While the purple and gold seem enthused by Jackson’s defensive aptitude and have already worked him out twice, they would not be too saddened by having the two best guard prospects available for them at number two.
The Lakers have been linked to UCLA guard Lonzo Ball who most believe will end up with his hometown team, but Fultz has been the consensus top pick for most of the year. The Lakers just recently worked out the former Huskies star, perhaps for this exact scenario.
It’s still highly unlikely that the Celtics pass on the complete offensive player in Fultz in favor of yet another defensive-minded wing with a shaky shot. But then again, no one should put it past Danny Ainge.