They were rivals for one season in the Pac-12. They will also be linked to one another for years in the NBA. Former Washington standout Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball of the UCLA Bruins are not expected to go in the top five of the 2017 NBA Draft.
Where they go remains up in the air. Recent reports suggest that the Boston Celtics are nearing a trade to send the No. 1 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. While both players are obviously anxious to find out where they will land, it appears Fultz is ready to start a new rivalry with Ball.
“I’m a competitor,” Fultz said, via the Los Angeles Times. “Anybody that’s in front of me I’m going to try to take them out. Lonzo’s a great guard so we’ll compete for the same position. Just stepping on the court, I’m going to try to beat him in everything I do. Just tie my shoes faster and everything.”
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game for the Bruins last season. Meanwhile, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.
Both players project to be All-Stars at the next level. There’s every reason to believe that their on-court rivalry will last the better part of the next decade.