For a while now, the combination of UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers has seemed like a match made in heaven. Ball, a local product from Chino Hills, took college basketball by storm with his outstanding passing and shooting helping to turn the Bruins into a top-10 team.
Ball and his father LaVar have been open about their hope to land with the Lakers and there have been reports that they are enamored with the point guard as well. While that may be the case, he is certainly no lock to be the Lakers pick should they keep their selection.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the Lakers have not put Ball on a pedestal as some have claimed:
The Lakers most definitely have not put Ball on some pedestal as their potential savior, according to sources. He is a strong contender to be at the top of their list after all the workouts are done (assuming they keep their pick), and Lonzo’s court vision impresses them a lot more than LaVar’s presence scares them. But Fultz also is a tantalizing option, as is the upside Jackson and Fox each offer.
Ding reported that the four players at the top of the Lakers draft board are Ball, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, and De’Aaron Fox. Should they keep their pick, all four players will undoubtedly get private workouts with the team and Ball could absolutely be their top prospect. It is far from a guarantee, however.
Also of note is Ding saying that what Lonzo does on the court far outweighs his father’s antics off of it. The Ball family recently made headlines with their unveiling of Lonzo’s signature sneaker under the Big Baller Brand which is priced at $495. Some feel that LaVar could be a distraction to whichever team drafts his son, but there has yet to be anything suggesting that his antics are affecting his son’s draft stock.
Things will finally begin to get much clearer for the Lakers and the rest of the teams once the NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 16.