UCLA basketball superstar and projected top-five NBA draft pick Lonzo Ball might be slipping on some draft boards following months of nonsense from his father, LaVar Ball.
The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery was seen as a big victory for LaVar as the Los Angeles Lakers ended up with the No. 2 overall pick. LaVar has made it clear where he wants his son to play, and he has never been afraid to let you know that his boy will be a Laker.
“All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence,” said LaVar earlier this year. “I want him to be a Laker. He’s gonna be the first one that’s homegrown, and trust me, he’ll do the same thing he’s doing at UCLA…I’d like him to play for the Lakers because it’s home, and I’d love him to learn from Magic. He’s the best guard ever to me, and nobody better for Lonzo to learn from than Magic Johnson.”
For a while, it looked like LaVar had made it happen. The mock drafts had Ball going No. 2 to L.A. right from the beginning.
But, all of a sudden, LaVar’s big mouth might be coming back to bite him—or more importantly, his son Lonzo—in the ass.
With the 2017 NBA Draft quickly approaching, the Lakers are reportedly uninterested in Lonzo. The team is unconvinced that the UCLA superstar is going to be a star in the NBA, and they remain concerned about LaVar. As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported, Ball will need to absolutely stun the Lakers during his pre-draft workout to make his dad’s vision a reality.
“With reports surfacing that the L.A. Lakers and former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball have finalized the details of a workout and face to face meeting in L.A. next week, there is a growing sense that unless Lonzo absolutely blows the doors off, he may not be the Lakers’ guy,” reported Kyler.
The Lakers apparently see both Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox and Kansas forward Josh Jackson as more likely to succeed in the NBA moving forward; however, it is still unclear how the Boston Celtics will choose with the first pick, but Washington guard Markelle Fultz seems to be the consensus top pick.
So, let’s say the Celtics take Fultz, and then let’s say the Lakers decide to pull the trigger on Jackson, where does Lonzo end up?
Well, the Philadelphia 76ers have the No. 3 pick, but team adviser Jerry Colangelo isn’t sold on Lonzo—actually, he is sold on Lonzo, but LaVar might force the team to pass, even though Colangelo says teams shouldn’t do that.
“I think Ball is a terrific prospect and could have an outstanding NBA future,” said Colangelo. “I think it’s going to be challenging with the people around him, without being specific. And yet, I don’t think teams should bypass the player because they have those concerns. At the end of the day, what wins in this league is talent, and this is a very talented young man.”
After the Sixers, the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings (via the 76ers) pick at four and five, and I know that LaVar doesn’t want his son playing in one of the worst two markets in professional basketball (no offense, Sacramento, thank you again for Boogie). But, hey, maybe it’s a case of just desserts? Or maybe the speculation will be enough to shut his mouth?
But I guess he needs to sell those $450 shoes somehow.