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NBA 2017 Draft Rumors: Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson Vie for No. 1 Pick

( [email protected] ) Jun 17, 2017 08:18 AM EDT
June 22 is but a few days away and the big question that pops up is: Who will be the NBA 2017 Draft No. 1 pick? Which also means who among the best college players the Boston Celtics will choose and groom as the next NBA superstar? Early reports said it’s a toss between Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz to play for the Green Team.
Boston Celtics' Avery Bradley, left, takes a shot on net as Minnesota Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham defends during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

June 22 is but a few days away and the big question that pops up is: Who will be the NBA 2017 Draft No. 1 pick? Which also means who among the best college players the Boston Celtics will choose and groom as the next NBA superstar? Early reports said it's a toss between Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz to play for the Green Team.

But Fultz is the heavy favorite to get picked by the Celtics and become the No. 1 pick on the account that Ball has already expressed his preference to wear the Lakers jersey. Fultz, on the other hand, has indicated he's excited to call Boston his new home and play alongside Washington alum Isaiah Thomas.

According to The Washington Post, Fultz could very well end up as the 2017 Draft No. 1 pick but will not necessarily play for the Celtics. Instead, the Washington point guard could be headed to Philadelphia. "Boston and Philadelphia are engaged in trade discussions centered around Boston's No. 1 overall choice, widely believed to be Washington point guard Markelle Fultz," the report said.

As always the case, the new development aroused another question and in this case: Why Danny Ainge would pass on a talent like Fultz? On paper, the Celtics seem interested on the Sixers' No. 3 pick for this year's draft and future No. 1s, which make sense.

But in reality, the Celtics front office is eyeballing another talent, identified by Lakers Nation as Kansas forward Josh Jackson. Jackson is reportedly on the Boston like list despite opting to skip working out with team. In fact, the Celtics seem willing to overlook the workout factor in its assessment of Jackson.

"We've done our homework. The workouts are nice, but they're not mandatory. We'll select the best player," a Celtics source was quoted by the report as saying, adding that the same approach will be applied to all new recruits, Lonzo Ball including.

And speaking of Ball, he has just completed his second workout session with the Lakers, which ESPN described as "solid." The report added Magic Johnson was in attendance but no further details have been provided except for the hint that the drills Ball was subjected to tired him.

Strangely though, the same report indicated that following his workout with the Lakers Ball made clear he's open to other team that might be interested. That's like saying the Ball camp is ready to discuss things with Ainge and the Celtics.

Such openness came out as rumors continue to swirl that Magic Johnson is ready to pass up on Ball and consider instead De'Aaron Fox. Or the team will lock in on Fox, still make Ball the No. 2 pick and put the latter on the trading block just to open up other exciting possibilities for the Lakers, which is in the process of deep rebuilding.

Meanwhile, LaVar Ball, father to Lonzo, has already made known his choice. "Team-wise, the Lakers are a better fit. They really don't have a leader. Boston already went to the playoffs. They have a leader," the elder Ball was reported by ESPN as saying.

Interestingly, LaVar did not get an invite for Lonzo Ball's second workout session with the Lakers, and why so the ESPN report failed to explain.

 

 

Tags : NBA Draft 2017 rumors, NBA Draft June 22, Boston Celtics No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball, LA Lakers No. 2 pick, Philadelphia 76ers