With Ben Simmons having reportedly received a promise from the Sixers at No. 1, the Lakers know who will be on the board for them at No. 2, and barring a last-minute blockbuster trade offer, Los Angeles intends to select Duke’s Brandon Ingram with that pick, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford and Ramona Shelburne. The decision, which comes as no surprise, comes after the Lakers spent three hours meeting with new head coach Luke Walton on Tuesday night, per the ESPN.com report. The team did its homework on other top prospects, but this year’s class has always been viewed as having a consensus top two, so it would have been a huge upset if the Lakers had landed on anyone but Ingram.
Let’s check in on a few more draft rumors, notes, and updates around the league…
- ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote last night that the Celtics‘ preference at No. 3 – assuming they keep the pick – has “emerged as one of the bigger mysteries of draft week.” Bill Simmons of The Ringer agrees, tweeting that the Suns (Marquese Chriss), Timberwolves (Kris Dunn), Pelicans (Jamal Murray), and Kings (Buddy Hield) all appear to have preferred targets, but Boston could throw a wrench into the top eight by selecting one of those players. Meanwhile, Brett Dawson of The Advocate cautions (via Twitter) that it’s not yet clear whether Murray is New Orleans’ top target.
- The Hawks, Sixers, and Spurs – all of whom have picks in the 20-30 range tomorrow night – have done the most extensive research on former St. Joseph’s wing DeAndre’ Bembry, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
- Rothstein adds (via Twitter) that two names he’s hearing on the Grizzlies‘ short list for the No. 17 pick are Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt) and Malachi Richardson (Syracuse).
- The Pacers have narrowed down their list of realistic targets for the No. 20 overall pick to eight prospects, and prioritizing versatility, writes Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star.
- ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has revealed his final big board for the 2016 draft, which has Kris Dunn supplanting Jamal Murray at No. 3, and Marquese Chriss cracking the top five.
- The NBA has announced 19 Green Room invitees for the 2016 draft, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. The list of prospects who will be in attendance on Thursday night includes the usual suspects, such as Simmons and Ingram, but also features a handful of names further down on draft boards, including Timothe Luwawu, Malik Beasley, and Denzel Valentine.