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NBA Draft Rumors: Lakers ready to pass on Lonzo Ball; good news for De’Aaron Fox

More chatter that De’Aaron Fox is ahead of Lonzo Ball on NBA big boards, and LaVar Ball may be helping that.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs UCLA Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Lonzo Ball to the L.A. Lakers isn’t a done deal by any stretch.

The former UCLA Bruins star has been widely viewed as the second or third-best prospect in this year’s NBA Draft for sometime. Many experts have also assumed L.A. would take the local product with the No. 2 overall pick.

Not so fast, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz:

It would be unfortunate to see LaVar Ball hurt his own son’s NBA stock. But if this is true, it’s great news for former Kentucky Wildcats point guard De’Aaron Fox, who is likely to be drafted within the top five picks. Fox vs Ball has been a hot debate this offseason, and some NBA decision makers seem to think Fox is the superior prospect.

That’s why seeing reports of the Lakers not being high on Ball aren’t a real surprise, but they wouldn’t necessarily take Fox instead.

Former Kansas Jayhawks star Josh Jackson is a strong candidate for a top-four selection, but the Lakers don’t really need another small forward if they think Brandon Ingram is a future star there.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders also reports the Lakers could move in another direction unless Ball impresses in his workout, and it could come down to Fox vs Jackson for that pick:

The Lakers are weeks away from needing to make their final decision, but there are many that believe the Lakers could go after both Kansas forward Josh Jackson and Kentucky guard De'Aaron Fox.

For what it’s worth, the four mock drafts by Basketball Insiders has two picks for Fox and two for Ball as the No. 2 pick. None of them have Fox falling past the Sacramento Kings at No. 5:

We’re just under three weeks until the draft begins.