For the better part of this year, it has been assumed that the top two prospects in this year’s NBA Draft are Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. Now that the draft lottery has taken place with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers owning the top two spots, things are beginning to become more clear.
With Fultz seemingly being a great fit in Boston, and Ball’s long-known desire to stay home and play for the Lakers, most have assumed that the top two picks are a foregone conclusion. That may not be the case, however.
According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is not opposed to drafting Ball if he feels like Ball will best help the team:
“No, not at all,” Ainge said when asked if Ball’s desire to play for the Lakers would affect the Celtics’ decision. “We understand that he’s from Los Angeles, but we’re going to draft whoever can help the Celtics regardless of where the players want to play.”
The Celtics will do what is best for them as they should, and the Lakers will undoubtedly do the same. Fultz is believed by most to be the top prospect in this draft and in all likelihood, he will probably end up in Boston. This seems especially true since Ball probably won’t work out for the Celtics.
Of course, it also isn’t a guarantee that the Lakers draft Ball. Though he is the favorite to be selected, there are reportedly some within the organization who are fans of Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.
There is still a month before the draft takes place, so things will likely become much clearer before then, but until that time both the Lakers and Celtics will do their homework on Ball, Fultz, and the rest of the top prospects this year.