Photo via Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Lakers keep the pick
Should the Lakers be fortunate enough to keep their pick, there is little doubt as to what direction they would go with their selection, regardless of position.
Whatever pick they possess, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will say the same line: “The Los Angeles Lakers select… Lonzo Ball out of UCLA.” It’s hard to imagine the Lakers doing anything other than choosing Ball, as both sides have expressed interest with zero subtlety.
Lonzo showed his interest when asked whether he’d prefer to be drafted with the Number 1 pick or be drafted by the Lakers, “I’m going to go with the Lakers. I’m a family dude. All my family is in L.A. So, to be able to play in front of them, I think that would mean more to me,” via ESPN.
His infamous father, LaVar Ball had a take on it as well.
“I’m going to speak it into existence,” Ball told ESPN. “I want him to be a Laker.”
It’s pretty obvious Lonzo would love to see the Lakers’ jerseys with Ball printed on the back.
On top of the Ball family’s expressed interest, Magic Johnson, the new President of the Lakers, has indicated that the feeling is mutual. Johnson has scouted one college game all year, and that one game was UCLA vs Oregon, which happened to feature Lonzo Ball.
Magic received questions about Lonzo while he was watching the game and offered nothing but praise to Ball and the rest of the Pac-12.
If the Lakers select Ball, they will have taken a major leap forward in their rebuilding process. Ball is the ideal player to bring the yet-to-be-discovered talents out of each individual on the Lakers’ young roster, for Ball has a unique talent to see plays develop a couple steps ahead of everyone else on the floor.
The pairing of Russell and Ball could end up being a match made in Heaven, with Russell being a score-first combo guard. Therefore, Russell would thrive on spot-up 3-point attempts being created by Ball and his isolation sets would be opened up by the deep threat Lonzo has proved to be.
Russell wouldn’t be the only Laker to benefit greatly from Ball’s presence, as Ingram has the capability to truly maximize the UCLA standout’s vision. Ingram can cover the floor in a small number of steps with his length and would be the beneficiary of many long outlet passes or dump offs from running the floor alongside Ball.
Lonzo’s knack for finding passing angles that seem only visible to him, would serve as a catalyst for the development of the entire roster and could be the factor that pushes them to new heights. Randle could become a dominant pick and roll finisher, Nance and Clarkson could be the ideal fast-breaking mates when the Lakers decide to push.
Everything would finally look up for the Lakers and the playoffs would certainly be within reach in the near future, as the Lakers would have a young squad who is as dangerous a rebuilding group as you can find around the league.