The Los Angeles Lakers must be careful if they find themselves with one of the top picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Lakers are loaded in the backcourt and the Forwards positions, however, the middle is an area of concern for Luke Walton. With the Lakers already eliminated from the playoffs, their thoughts are now on the draft position.
If they should fall below the 3rd pick, then it heads to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Lakers will be stuck with who they have now. If it falls within the top 3 then it’s decision-making time for Magic Johnson and crew.
Rumors are spreading that the Lakers have some interest in hometown and UCLA PG, Lonzo Ball. If those are true, the Lakers are setting themselves up for a world of trouble. I have nothing against Ball and his skills but he’s a freshman, much like D’Angelo Russell was and what has Russell done to make the Lakers throw in the towel on him so fast? The other factor to consider in drafting Ball is his father, LaVar.
LaVar Bell cannot seem to keep his mouth shut since his son started making waves. It’s one thing to be a proud parent but it’s another to be that soccer parent arguing with refs at an 8-year old kid’s contest. This is Ball all the way. He’s already said Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry, he’s attacking LeBron James and has said that he would have shut Micheal Jordan down. There’s nothing wrong with trash talk, it’s a part of the game but he’s attacking people he will never face. This is his son’s time to shine and he’s destroying the moment.
However, the most damaging remark may have come at the expense of the Lakers. He has gone on record as saying his son will only play for the Lakers (he has later backtracked the story). Now, that’s just chest talk at the moment but we must not forget the strange things we have seen over the years. Remember Eli Manning and the San Diego Chargers organization? What about Steve Francis and the Vancouver Grizzlies or recently with Joey Bosa and his mother telling the NFL what’s best for her son. This is nothing new in the world of sports.
What the elder Ball fails to realize is that he’s setting his son up for failure with statements like this.
“Steph Curry’s pretty good,” he continued. “My son is young, he’s got time to grow. And you only consider him good because he’s won a couple championships. … He makes some shots at the right time. But he’s not as young as my boy. You not gonna be able to say this until my boy finishes playing his career; then they gon’ look back and say, ‘Man, how did LaVar know all this?’”
Good trash talk but now he’s put a target on Lonzo’s back. Once again, the kid is just a freshman in Collge and has yet to win anything. Once he gets into the league there will be players just aiming to shut him down. And the sad part is, it wouldn’t be his fault. LaVar wants his son to play for the Lakers and that’s great but do the Lakers need this type of negative publicity that will surely follow the Ball’s?
Magic is trying to turn the team around and with a dad like LaVar sitting courtside and in the media 24/7 what will happen if Walton pulls him from a game due to struggles or he feels his son is not getting enough playing time? What are the Lakers expecting to happen? This will not turn out good for a young squad and a President or GM in their first year on the job.
As good as Lonzo is, the Lakers best decision may be to avoid him at all cost.