The Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as a threat to snag athletic big man Nerlens Noel if the Dallas Mavericks somehow squander the opportunity of re-signing him this offseason. Dallas Morning News writer Eddie Sefko discussed the player’s upcoming free-agency in his latest chat session.

Lakers Like Noel

Although there’s only a remote chance the Mavericks will let Noel walk away from this offseason, Sefko thinks the Lakers would be the biggest threat to the Mavs for the service of the former Kentucky standouts.

The Lakers have collected promising young talents (Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson) the past 2-3 years, but they are still missing an athletic big who can defend pick-and-rolls and run up and down the floor.

Noel, who averaged 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 block per game last season, perfectly fits the requirement of Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka for a center.

The Lakers come to mind, actually. It would have to be a team that either feels it is on the verge of breaking through and needs an athletic big man or one that's willing to wait a couple of years to get the payoff of being competitive. Again, I don't see it happening,” said Sefko, who thinks Noel will have a breakthrough year with the Mavs next season.

Update on Lonzo Ball

ESPN Draft expert Chad Ford thinks the Lakers will select UCLA’s point guard Lonzo Ball if they land the top pick in the NBA Draft Lottery less than two weeks from now.

Ford described the Lakers as enamored on Ball’s star-power potential, believing the kid has the ‘IT’ factor to become a superstar in the league.

However, the Lakers may resort to Kansas’ two-way player Josh Jackson if they slide down a bit to no.3. Ford believes Jackson appears to be the realistic pick for Lakers president of basketball operation Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka with the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns poised to get no.1 and no.2 picks in the draft.

Jackson, who averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in his first and only season with the Jayhawks, might not be a bad choice at no.3 because of the skills-set he brings to the table. At 6-foot-8, 207-pound, Jackson would be an amazing prospect to fill in the swingman/small forward spot for the Lakers which is currently occupied by veteran Luol Deng. Jackson’s presence would also push Brandon Ingram to shoot guard spot, allowing him to exploit mismatches against shorter two guards.