Lakers Rumors: Lonzo Ball In, D'Angelo Russell Out in Los Angeles?

By Paul E. Davidson, Posted: 04/04/17 06:25AM EDT

The Los Angeles Lakers are heading to the lottery once again and they might land a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA draft. The latest rumors implied that the Lakers are interested in drafting Lonzo Ball of UCLA and it might lead to D'Angelo Russell getting traded.

In the latest mock draft by The Vertical, the Lakers are projected to get the second overall pick and they are positioned to get LaVar Ball's oldest son. Lonzo is a perfect fit in Los Angeles since he's right at home and he possesses the passing ability to run the offense.

The 19-year-old UCLA star stands at 6-foot-6 but is a point guard who can shoot despite his awkward stroke. He can also defend multiple positions and he could relieve playmaking duties from Russell, who can work without the basketball.

However, several NBA insiders believe that if the Lakers draft Lonzo, they will trade Russell since the team cannot have too many guards. Amin Elhassan of ESPN LA Radio noted last month that the Lakers could rebuild around Ball, and not Russell.

"Drafting Ball opens the door for someone to find a new home. Let's be honest on that one. There aren't going to be so many guards on the same roster. There are going to be some casualties," Elhassan said.

It was the same sentiments made by Stephen A. Smith of ESPN First Take and Colin Cowherd of The Herd in their respective programs. It should also be noted that the Lakers could trade their pick if they cannot draft Ball or Markelle Fultz. The Lakers can also lose the pick if it falls outside of the top three.

According to Quentin Hayes of FanSided, Ball and Russell could also work together in Los Angeles. However, Russell had to find more consistency in his game. He has not quite lived up to his hype when he was drafted second overall two years ago.

If the Lakers move Russell to the shooting guard spot, he can finally take advantage of his scoring ability rather than worry about creating for his teammates. He will also be relieved of some pressure since the whole world is going to be looking at Lonzo and his loudmouth dad.

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