After the Los Angeles Lakers bagged no.2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the initial thought among NBA scouts and insiders is Magic Johnson using their lottery pick for Lonzo Ball of UCLA. Unfortunately for LaVar Ball, Lonzo to Lakers scenario is far from being a done deal because there’s someone trying to knock him off from the top-2 spot,

Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox has emerged as the dark-horse contender for the no.2 spot in the upcoming NBA Draft. Although Ball is still the heavy favorite, Fox's strong showing at the NBA combine as he exhibited a combination of speed and athleticism has put himself into consideration as the Lakers’ lottery pick.

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com even believed Fox has now made a case for himself as the second best prospect in the draft class just behind consensus no.1 overall pick Markelle Fultz of Washington.

In fact, the DraftExpert expects the Lakers to hold a head-to-head workout between the two playmaking prospects to determine who will be their pick in the draft.

The rivalry continues

Ironically, Ball and Fox have been going head-to-head the past 10 to 12 months. Kentucky and UCLA split their two meetings last college basketball season, though the Wildcats had more bragging rights by knocking down the Bruins in the round-of-16 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Statistically, Fox had the superior numbers had the superior numbers over Ball in the two showdowns. Fox recorded 20 points and 9 assists in the first match-up, while Ball tallied 14 points and 7 assists with 6 turnovers. Fox reasserted his dominance over Ball in their Sweet Sixteen duel, as he dropped 39 points to Ball’s 10 points.

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Celtics’ interest in Lonzo

Another factor that could ruin LaVar’s plan for Lonzo is the possibility of his son being selected no.1 overall by the Boston Celtics. While Fultz is clearly the most NBA-ready talent in this craft, Celics general manager Danny Ainge reportedly like Ball’s ability to create shots for his teammates. Unlike Fultz who is viewed as a score-first guard, Ball prefers passing the rock first and that makes him a better fit alongside a pure scorer like Isaiah Thomas.

In an interview with Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Ainge stressed that prospect’s preference - like Ball hoping to be a Laker – won’t play a factor in his decision at draft night.

“No, not at all,” Ainge said of Ball’s desire to stay in Los Angeles “We understand that he’s from Los Angeles, but we’re going to draft whoever can help the Celtics regardless of where the players want to play.”

Anything can still happen between now and the NBA Draft, and that includes a potential blockbuster trades involving picks and marquee players. Keep in mind, the Lakers are setting their sight on superstar Paul George. Should the Indiana Pacers make him available, the Lakers top-brass may have no choice but to join the fray or George ends up with a winning team.