Rumor: Lakers want to talk to Celtics about No. 1 pick, but would offer be good enough?


The Lakers have worked out Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson — the three guys expected to be the top three picks in next Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The buzz was the Lakers were not blown away by Ball’s workout because his conditioning wasn’t there, while Jackson struggled with his shot when it was his turn. Fultz, however, apparently killed it.

Problem is, the Lakers have the No. 2 pick and Fultz is not going to be on the board at that point. While Philadephia may be close to leapfrogging Los Angeles and trading with Boston for the No. 1 pick, the Lakers would like to get into that mix, reports Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

The problem for the Lakers is that likely is not going to work for Celtics.

The challenge is putting Julius Randle in the mix. He’s a good player who could fit in the Celtics’ already crowded front court, however, he will make $3.3 million on his rookie deal next season. Boston is trying to clear out cap space to offer Gordon Hayward the max, taking on Randle adds salary to the bottom line. The Lakers don’t have another first rounder to trade until 2020, while the Sixers can offer the Lakers’ unprotected 2018 pick or the Kings’ first rounder in 2019. Not only will those likely be lottery picks (likely high lottery), they don’t add salary this year (in fact, the Celtics move about $1.4 million off the books with the Sixers trade if they use that No. 3 pick).

Philly wants to meet with Fultz and look over his medical records before signing off on the deal, which is prudent. The Boston/Philadelphia trade seems to be pretty far down the tracks and may well get, although the longer anything draws out the more likely one side gets cold feet.