Los Angeles Lakers: Markelle Fultz keeps options open with Lakers workout


Markelle Fultz, widely recognized as the No.1 overall pick, worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers in what he called a ‘family decision’ and may have put himself in position to be picked by L.A. if he falls to No.2.

It’s not just NBA executives that are doing their due diligence, but players as well. Washington’s Markelle Fultz, this year’s likely No.1 pick, worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday. The Boston Celtics hold the first pick in the draft while L.A. has the second pick. Fultz worked out for the Lakers to get a feel for the organization.

While working out for a team with a No.2 pick is smart, he still admits he would like to go No.1 in the draft and therefore play for Boston. In a recent workout for the Celtics, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Fultz had a bad shooting performance. Despite this, Fultz trusts in his work ethic saying, “They saw that I worked hard. They saw that I had the mechanics to shoot the ball right and everything like that.” We can assume Fultz displayed this same hard work for L.A. who would love to add a competitor of his caliber in the event he falls to No.2.  When asked about UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, the Lakers’ likely pick, Fultz said this to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com:

"“I’m a competitor. So anybody that’s in front of me, I’m going to try to take them out and Lonzo is a great guard. We’re both competing for the same positions, so just stepping out on the court, I’m going to try and beat him in everything I do. If that’s tying my shoe faster or anything. It really doesn’t matter.”"

And as a true competitor, he wasn’t shy about pointing out the differences he sees in himself noting that he fills in every box on both ends of the floor. This was definitely an endorsement of himself but could have also been a dig at Ball’s lack of defensive prowess knowing L.A. needs help in that arena.

It seems that Fultz is well aware of a scenario where he’s not taken No.1 by the Celtics and therefore he’s carving out a spot for himself with the Lakers. Almost as if he realizes how much his workout with Boston may have worked against him. He even talked about how well he would fit playing alongside D’Angelo Russell and went as far as to discuss the marketability that landing in L.A. would bring him.

"“I could see myself playing here,” Fultz said to Holmes. “It’s a great city, a great team, a lot of history behind this team.”"

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Until the draft no one knows for sure which player will go where. But what we do know is Markelle Fultz is smart, competitive and marking a spot for himself with the Lakers just in case the Celtics pass on him.