Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are praying to the basketball gods to allow them to retain their top-three protected pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. This draft class has been heralded as one of the deepest pools of talent that the league has seen in recent years and UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball has been dominating headlines.
Ball has earned national recognition on the court while his father, LaVar Ball, has become a household name overnight with his outrageous comments about his three sons. The elder Ball has some general managers around the league skeptical of drafting the UCLA point guard, but according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Johnson will not be deterred by Ball’s outspoken father:
Magic Johnson told me that Lavar Ball will not have any impact whatsoever on whether he would select Lonzo. https://t.co/Lka6y0oEmm
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 11, 2017
Ball’s father has made headlines nearly every day during the NCAA Tournament and he is making bolder statements as the 2017 NBA Draft is approaching. Ball is actually a humble kid who lets his game do the talking and his fun brand of pushing the break and sharing the ball makes him one of the top prospects heading into the draft.
The 6’6″ point guard could potentially be a perfect fit next to D’Angelo Russell, who experienced great success towards the end of the season when he was shifted to shooting guard. Ball’s pass-first mentality would become contagious in head coach Luke Walton’s system and his unorthodox shooting form does not stop him from drilling long-distance three-pointers.
Sure, Ball’s father is outspoken and may be getting more public recognition than he should, but his son can play. Ball was raised in Chino Hills, grew up a die-hard Lakers fan, and he has made it clear that Los Angeles is where he would like to spend his career. The Lakers will find out the fate of their lottery pick on May 16.