The Los Angeles Lakers are supposedly in love with Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Would the Lakers consider a trade for the No. 1 overall pick? If so, the Boston Celtics may be all ears. Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony stated in a tweet that Lakers’ president Magic Johnson is high on Markelle Fultz’s list.
All signs point to a major trade taking place at the top of the NBA draft. According to NESN, the Los Angeles Lakers may sneak in and try to submit an offer to the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 pick. The Celtics have to strongly consider a trade down to No. 2 if a legitimate player is added to the mix.
A possible trade proposal from the Lakers would be an interesting counteroffer to what the Celtics are entertaining from the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Yahoo Sports, the Celtics and 76ers are in advanced talks to swap the No. 1 and No. 3 picks. Their trade talks also have a different element to it — the Celtics would want to try and flip the draft pick (courtesy of Inquisitr News), along with other assets to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
The Chicago Bulls have not stated that they are shopping Jimmy Butler. Everyone around the NBA believes the Bulls are listening intently to see where other teams value him. If they receive a trade proposal they like, look for them to move the three-time all-star.
Jimmy Butler seems to be the prize in all of this, at least for the Boston Celtics. But for the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, it is Markelle Fultz.
Word out of LA is Markelle Fultz "murdered" his Lakers workout yesterday. May be "the best one" they've seen. Sadly, likely all for naught.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 16, 2017
Interestingly enough, the tune may have changed for the Lakers, who now know that the Celtics are open for business.
With the Celtics and 76ers engaged in trade talks, it opens the door for other teams, including the Lakers to come in with their offers. If the Lakers are truly fond of Markelle Fultz, they can try to get him by offering a better package than the 76ers.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) June 16, 2017
The Lakers’ No. 2 pick would be far more valuable to the Celtics than the Sixers’ No. 3 pick. If the plan for the Lakers to try and get Markelle Fultz, leveraging their draft pick and a legitimate starting power forward in Julius Randle is one way to start.
Would the No. 2 pick and Randle be enough for the Celtics to consummate a deal with the Lakers? There have always been suspicions that the Celtics want to win a trade, more than make one. The Lakers are in the position to disrupt what the Celtics and 76ers are discussing.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 15, 2017
It is likely that the Los Angeles Lakers are too late when it comes to targeting Markelle Fultz. By all accounts Fultz wowed the Lakers’ brass during his workout. He did the same thing with the Philadelphia 76ers, who have reportedly beat the Lakers to the punch on a trade of NBA draft picks.
The one bit of solace the Lakers can take is there is no deal, until one is announced. But all signs point to the Lakers losing out on Markelle Fultz here.
The team which could be driving everything are the Chicago Bulls. They have Jimmy Butler, whom the Boston Celtics reportedly covet. The Celtics have the piece to make a move happen, but it could be with the intentions of what the Bulls prefer. If the Bulls prefer Dario Saric or Jahlil Okafor over Julius Randle, the Lakers will be completely shut out. Unless, it is just a ploy for the Sixers to boost their offer a bit more.
As long as Lonzo Ball’s second workout with the Lakers went well, everything is pointless. The Los Angeles Lakers may truly want Markelle Fultz, but would be fine with whomever they draft.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]