Of course, this is half the reason draft season is so much fun. We're going to hear all sorts of rumors and innuendo leading up to the big day on June 22 this year, and most of it isn't worth the digital ink spent breathlessly breaking down the possibilities.
Now, the Lakers might end up taking someone other than Ball. We believe the team hasn't come to a concrete conclusion at this point. But with that said, there are three things you need to keep in mind with all of these Lakers whispers about Ball and the draft.
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The Lakers have to prepare for the minimal chance Lonzo Ball isn't available at No. 2
We all assume Markelle Fultz will be Boston's choice with the No. 1 overall pick, and with good reason. The Washington point guard is the consensus best player available, and there's been no word out of the Celtics' front office to indicate GM Danny Ainge is looking elsewhere.
A lack of leaks should not be confused with a lack of possibility, however. There's a chance, microscopic as it might be, that the Celtics take Ball on June 22. If the Lakers were to put all their eggs in the Lonzo-shaped basket during the lead-up to the draft, such a shocking move would leave Los Angeles scrambling for a contingency plan.
By bringing in guys such as De'Aaron Fox and Joshua Jackson for full-fledged, honest-to-goodness workouts, the Lakers are simply doing their due diligence while casting a little bit of doubt in the minds of the teams picking after No. 2.
It's NBA Draft 101, and the Lakers clearly paid attention in class this time around.
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
GM Rob Pelinka is an agent, and spreading rumors is what agents do
The average NBA fan might not know just how many rumors come directly from agents, so let's break this down really quickly.
When you hear about a guy wanting a trade or being interested in a certain free-agency destination, the first thing you need to do is ask, "Who benefits if this rumor is true?" Chances are the answer to that question is "the agent who represents the player/coach/reporter in question" — and yes, media members have agents who often represent NBA players as well.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has plenty of experience spreading those smokescreens across the basketball landscape. If anyone can send NBA Draft coverage into a tizzy for no reason at all, it's the man Kobe Bryant trusted to negotiate his deals.
Chaos breeds the possibility for disruption, and the Lakers are positioning themselves to be major players amid all the noise.
The Lakers don't know what the future could hold
The Lakers' evaluation of this year's draft class doesn't end just because they make a decision with the No. 2 pick.
You never know when you'll have the opportunity to add a player in a trade or sign him down the road in free agency; when that day comes, every bit of information will help.
Even if a player changes drastically from who he was in college to who he is as a pro three or four years into his career, you want to be able to trace that evolution back to its NBA beginning.
This comes back to the notion of doing your homework regardless of the payoff. A Lakers franchise that was dependent on one player for far too long is doing its best to ensure a brighter future in any scenario.
The rumors are a small price to pay if you're a Lakers fan.