Lonzo Ball has made no effort to hide his wishes to land with his hometown Lakers in the upcoming NBA draft. And it turns out the interest might just be mutual.
Chad Ford of ESPN reported on Wednesday the Lakers are apparently "enamored" with Ball, the one-and-done point from UCLA who helped lead a turnaround from a team that went 15-17 in 2015-16 to a 31-win team this past season.
"The Lakers appear to be enamored with Ball, a local product who could add star power to a team desperately in search of it," Ford reported. "But they'll likely have to land in the top two to get him."
The latter part of that report might be a problem. The chances are more likely than not that the Lakers will be picking at No. 3 in the draft. So with L.A.'s obvious interest in Ball, whichever team lands the No. 2 pick could wind up draining the Lakers if they try to move up, similar to what the 49ers did to the Chicago Bears in the NFL draft by moving up one spot to surprisingly draft Mitchell Trubisky.
Lonzo is likely competing with Washington point guard Markelle Fultz for the top spot, buthe would rather be a Laker than anything -- including becoming the No. 1 pick.
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds in his one and only season in college. Growing up in the L.A. area, his wish to be drafted to a team close to home so his family could watch him play makes a lot of sense. But the biggest question now becomes whether he'll even be available when the Lakers are on the clock.