Lonzo Ball a Sure Pick By the Lakers at 2? Don't Sleep on De'Aaron Fox Just Yet

By Joe Bacaron, Posted: 05/18/17 03:38AM EDT

If all the reports are to believed, the Los Angeles Lakers and Lonzo Ball belong to the mutual admiration society. However, De'Aaron Fox may yet prevent that admiration from blossoming into a love affair on the 2017 NBA Draft next month.

Rumors are swirling that the Lakers are not fully dismissing drafting Fox over Ball as their second pick. According to Chad Ford in his annual mock draft, while the UCLA point guard has that star quality and the necessary flamboyance in the mold of Magic Johnson, the Kentucky guard can be considered a "sleeper."

Ford wrote, "The Lakers have been enamored with him since he destroyed Ball in the UCLA-Kentucky game during the NCAA tournament. He could move ahead of Ball with great workouts." There were reports that Ball will only work out with the Lakers, which is only consistent with his desire from the time he declared for the draft to play for the Purple and Gold.

Fox has reportedly surpassed Ball in the draft boards, owing to his performance when Kentucky played the UCLA in March. The 6-4 point guard appears to be playing with a chip on his shoulder, and has drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook for his athleticism and elite slashing.

Also, there's the fact that Fox outplayed Ball in their past two meetings, and even limited the projected no. 2 pick with his defense. In fact, when Kentucky played UCLA in the Sweet 16 elimination, Fox scored 39 points, dished 4 assists and recorded 2 steals. In contrast, Ball scored only 10 points on 4-10 shooting (1-6 from three), and dished 8 assists, along with 4 turnovers.

But DraftExpress' tweeted that the Lakers are still high on Ball for their second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. "Word out of LA is Lonzo Ball is heavy favorite at #2, but will take a long hard look at De'Aaron Fox too. Hoping for a head to head workout."

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