There was a point during this college season when it appeared that point guard Lonzo Ball would be a prime candidate for the No. 1 pick. So much has happened since — the seemingly endless blathering of his father, LaVar Ball, the shaking out of the draft’s lottery, the Celtics’ trade out of the No. 1 spot — none of which bolstered Ball’s prospects of being the top pick.

But as one general manager reminded us: “With all the other stuff, he has gotten to be a kind of lightning rod for opinions, but he’s one of the best college point guards I have seen as a freshman. He comes in at just a different level of playmaking ability than most kids his age. You can pick apart this and that. But he is going to make everyone on your team better, and I think that gets lost.”

And yet circumstances have lined up against Ball, not just as the No. 1 pick but, possibly, as a top-four pick. We discussed the prospect of Ball landing with each of the first six teams in this year’s draft with a scout, a league executive and a general manager. Here’s what we found:

1. Sixers
No chance on this one. The Sixers moved up to the top pick with Markelle Fultz in mind, and Fultz remains their guy.

Scout: “They don’t make that move without zeroing in on Fultz. I think they want to see how Ben Simmons operates with the ball in his hands, and they can have multiple ballhandlers and playmakers out on the floor at once. But they want a scorer at the point.”

2. Lakers
This remains the best-case scenario for Ball, and has been since the Lakers managed to hold on to their pick in last month’s lottery. The Lakers have interest and have met with Ball’s team multiple times. But LA has not locked into Ball just yet, keeping its options open for a player like Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox or Jayson Tatum.

GM: “I understand that they don’t want to commit to anything, but I think it winds up being Ball. I would expect them to look at point guards because of all the Paul George stuff. They’re still a long way from being a contender. If they can come out of this week with Ball and George, you would have to put them within a couple of years of contending.

“Not committing to Ball might be a smokescreen, but I am not sure what they're screening. I think they're just still uncertain.”