Lakers Reportedly Weighing Trading Julius Randle to Land Markelle Fultz in Draft

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2017

Markelle Fultz, center, speaks with reporters after his private workout with the Los Angeles Lakers at NBA basketball team's training complex Thursday, June 15, 2017, in El Segundo, Calif. The University of Washington guard could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, or he could be available to the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick. (AP Photo/Greg Beacham)
Greg Beacham/Associated Press

In the wake of NBA draft prospect Markelle Fultz's workout with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, L.A. is reportedly considering maneuvering in order to land him.

According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson "is in love" with Fultz and may offer the Boston Celtics the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft and forward Julius Randle for the No. 1 overall pick.

Givony added that Fultz's workout may have been the best the Lakers have seen during the predraft process thus far.

Despite Fultz's status as the favorite to go No. 1 overall, ESPN's Chad Ford reported Thursday that Boston is considering other options, including Kansas swingman Josh Jackson.

Givony still believes Fultz will go first, but he could see the Celtics potentially moving him in a trade.

Adam Zagoria of FanRag Sports added Friday that Boston could also be looking into adding more first-round picks to use in a trade for Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler.

In a hypothetical deal of Fultz for Randle and the No. 2 pick, Boston could get a promising big man as well as an elite prospect such as Jackson or Lonzo Ball.

Randle is still coming into his own, but he performed well in 2016-17, as he shot 48.8 percent from the field while averaging 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Passing up Fultz could be foolhardy, though, as he put up a remarkable 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest in his one collegiate season at Washington.

For the Lakers, Fultz could develop into the superstar they so desperately need in order to go from the basement of the Western Conference to title contention.