Lonzo Ball, NBA Draft 2017, Markelle Fultz
Mar 24, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Lonzo Ball (2) drives to the basket against Kentucky Wildcats guard De'Aaron Fox (0) in the second half during the semifinals of the South Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum. USA TODAY Sports / Nelson Chenault

One of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft would love to land with the Los Angeles Lakers rather than get selected as the top overall pick. Lonzo Ball from UCLA recently stated that he wants to play for his hometown team in Hollywood.

“If Lonzo Ball could be the No. 1 pick or play for the Lakers, he says he'd rather be playing in purple and gold,” ESPN tweeted on Thursday.

While Ball has no control on which NBA team will pick him, he is projected to be one of the top three picks in the rookie draft in June. Ball’s biggest rivals for the top selections are Josh Jackson of Kansas and Markelle Fultz of Washington.

The Lakers are one of the worst teams in the 2016-2017 NBA regular season. Along with the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns, they have the biggest odds of landing the top spot in the NBA draft.

“No doubt, no doubt… I believe I’m going to be the No. 1 pick, I think I’ve put enough work into do that,” Fultz said, also via ESPN.

In a studio interview, a host asked Ball if he would rather be the No. 1 pick or go to the Lakers. Ball did not hesitate and said he wants to play for Los Angeles because of the hometown connection and because his family lives in L.A.

“I think I can lead a team better than [Fultz]. I feel like I am more of a true point guard,” Ball added via ESPN when asked about his leadership qualities and why he should be picked ahead of his rival from Washington.

The Celtics (from a picked owed by the Brooklyn Nets), Suns and Lakers have the biggest shot of landing one of Ball, Fultz or Jackson. But depending on the draft lottery, these teams could pick outside the Top 3. The Lakers will also lose their pick (to the Philadelphia 76ers owing to a previous trade) if they somehow get unlucky in the lottery.

Ball was one of the best players in college basketball last season. He is being touted as the “next Jason Kidd” because of his ability to involve his teammates as well as ability to become a reliable scorer and rebounder.

For his “one-and-done” season with UCLA, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35.1 minutes per game.