Lonzo Ball is one of the top prospects to enter the 2017 NBA Draft. That much is obvious. He also comes with the most baggage, primarily due to his outspoken father, LaVar Ball. While some teams have said that the Ball patriarch would not be a distraction or reason for them not to select his son, other teams are concerned about the “people with whom Lonzo surrounds himself.”
Forget the word people. It is only one person, and that is his controversial father. Period.
LaVar has said on multiple occasions that his son would only play for the Los Angeles Lakers, although he backed off of that a bit by allowing Lonzo to conduct a workout with the Philadelphia 76ers, Either way, both members of the Ball family have said that the California native wants to play for the Lakers.
Following a workout, however, the Lakers appear to be mixed on drafting Lonzo with the No. 2 pick in this month’s NBA Draft. With Markelle Fultz highly likely to be selected as the No. 1 overall pick, either by the Boston Celtics or to another team via trade, the Lakers simply have to decide if Ball is worth the second pick, given everything with which he comes. This draft is deep. Very deep. The Lakers need help. A lot of help. The team does have a point guard in D’Angelo Russell (and there is already some animosity between Russell and Lonzo), but it has to decide who will be leading the team in the future. Is it Russell? Will it be Ball? Or do they draft a player such as De’Aaron Fox? Or Josh Jackson, who also brings some off-court baggage along with him?
Either way, the Lakers will certainly have to do quite a bit more research before using their No. 2 pick in the draft on a player who can help turn around their franchise in the years to come.