LaVar Ball is beginning to look more and more like a soothsayer. This time, he’s inched a step closer to the prophecy of his son, Lonzo Ball, joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers team.
Ball is projected as the second-best player in the 2017 NBA draft after a standout rookie season at UCLA. The Lakers secured the No. 2 overall pick during Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery.
Now, LaVar Ball wants to ensure no other teams even get as much as a look at his son.
“That’s all we working out for is the Lakers,” said LaVar, according to Lakers Nation. “Just the Lakers. There’s nobody else that we need to work out for.”
Lonzo Ball played high school basketball in Chino Hills, which borders both San Bernardino and Los Angeles. He went on to average 14 points, 7.9 assists, and six rebounds per game as a freshman with the Bruins before declaring for the NBA draft.
Why this would make sense
A move like shunning workouts for all other teams would fall in line with the family’s rhetoric so far. LaVar Ball has maintained all along that his son will only play for the Lakers, saying as much on The Kevin and Mike Show in Arizona in late February.
It would only make sense. A hometown kid staying home and playing in front of his college and high school fans, then earning a new fan base in front of a rabid Staples Center crowd? Only movies are made of these stories, and even the movies don’t feature a father bold enough to launch his own brand and create a signature shoe for his son.
That move could pay off wildly if Ball goes to the Lakers.
Why it wouldn’t make sense
As hell-bent as the Balls are on getting Lonzo to Los Angeles, it’s still unclear whether the Lakers are equally enamored. After all, their draft board, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, also features three other players: Markelle Fultz (likely to go No. 1 overall), Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, and Kansas forward Josh Jackson.
It’s for that reason that while Lonzo Ball is reportedly uncertain about the prospect of working out for teams other than the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, he hasn’t ruled it out completely.
“We will make that decision closer to June,” a source said to Shelburne, adding, “[it’s been] clear from the start our desired destination is Los Angeles.”
If the Lakers, indeed, go a different way, Ball may end up hurting himself by not showcasing his talents to the other teams picking in the top 10. Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Sacramento are picking No. 3 to 5, and while his talents are substantial, working out could be the difference in a draft class loaded with talent.
Also, the odds of him falling could increase when teams come to grips with the thought of dealing with his rambunctious father for the foreseeable future.
Regardless, LaVar and Lonzo Ball have positioned themselves for success, and when the draft arrives on June 22, their fates will finally be known. Hopefully, they put themselves in the best position to succeed, no matter which direction the Lakers go.