By this time tomorrow, the 76ers will already have taken Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick, which brings us to possibly the most anticipated pick of the night. By now, Adam Silver will strut out onto the stage, smile because everyone likes him better than David Stern (Sorry David, this hurts because you’re an RU alum, but nobody likes you), and will say, “With the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select….LaVar Ball?”.
Yup. You heard that right.
Now for months everyone has been talking about Lonzo Ball and the Lakers acquisition of the number two pick. Obviously nobody is talking about drafting his father LaVar, that would be ludicrous. But maybe we should be, and here’s why.
- LaVar Ball is a showstopper. It goes with out saying that the guy is an entertainer, and in LA, that’s what its all about. LaVar is a BIG BALLER, and that’s just what a storied franchise like the Lakers needs. Plus the man is responsible for turning his sons into a family wrecking crew on the court, and in his prime he could beat the GOAT Michael Jordan 1 v 1. Sounds like trouble for opposing teams and a guarantee to sell out the Staples Center every night, plus the young guys on the team could really benefit from his veteran presence.
- Magic Johnson literally has no idea what he’s talking about. If Magic Johnson’s previous predictions are any indication, then maybe the Lakers and Rob Pelinka should consider taking a slightly different path during the draft. Johnson has compared Lonzo to some great guards and says that he has all the ability to be a star in the league. Normally it would be an honor receive such praise from a great like Johnson, but it might be more of a curse. Considering Magic said Michael Carter-Williams was the next coming of Jason Kidd, perhaps the Lakers should shake it up at number 2…bring in the old man!
- Lonzo will be a bust. For all the great plays he makes, Lonzo Ball definitely comes with some flaws. He has underwhelming athleticism, and he really isn’t that great at breaking guys down off the dribble. He shoots like a fourth grader who has to heave the ball across his body to reach the rim, making it hard to pull up while driving to the basket, and making his stepback predictable. Today, the league has no place for pass first point guards, which is why scorers like Steph and Kyrie thrive, sorry Lonzo but nice guys finish last. Finally, as De’Aaron Fox’s dad so astutely pointed out, his son “ate that ass up twice” in their two meetings this year. If you’re going to draft an underwhelming player, might as well draft the king of it, because who else makes averaging 2.2 points per game look so good?
- LaVar Ball is the best trash talker since Reggie Miller. The guy is already the center of attention, and if the Lakers draft his son, they’re getting him as part of the deal anyway. Might as well suit him up and throw him out on the court, the guy doesn’t back down, and his trash talking ability is an x-factor.
Obviously the Lakers can’t and won’t draft LaVar Ball on draft night, and now that D’Angelo Russell has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets, it seems to be a lock that the Lakers will select Lonzo with the number 2 pick. Initially I hoped that the Lakers would pass on Lonzo, because I genuinely believe that De’Aaron Fox is the better player and because I thought it was ridiculous that LaVar could dictate what team his son played for. With that being said, there is no question that Lonzo has incredible talent, and as draft night approaches, I hope to see him succeed in the league regardless of where he is drafted. Only time will tell if he lives up to the hype, or if he is just the next lottery pick to bust…