#290. Fans rejoice, Lonzo is about to be a Laker
Yesterday, Lakers fans across the globe breathed a long-awaited sigh of relief. After another horrible season, although the beginning and the end were impressive, the Lakers were on the verge of losing their pick. If their pick did not land in the top 3, the pick would’ve went to the 76ers. They had less than a 50% of retaining the pick, and fortunately, they received the #2 pick in this year’s draft.
The 76ers lost out on potentially having 2 top 3 picks this year, but they still got the 3rd pick, which is better than they were projected. The Suns, however, who spent the last month or so of their season aggressively tanking, got the 4th pick(which is a bummer because they were projected #2)
Lonzo Ball is projected in most mock drafts to be the #2 pick in the 2017 NBA draft. It couldn’t be a better fit. Ball is from Los Angeles, so his desire to stay in LA is real. Lonzo is a point guard,the only position where the Lakers don’t have developing young talent,(assuming D’Angelo Russell plays shooting guard, his natural position). The UCLA product also adds the playmaking that could be the glue that holds this team together.
Lonzo Ball and his family have already made a name for themselves in Los Angeles. First at Chino Hills high school, where the Ball Brothers won a state championship. Then, as Lonzo played at UCLA, leading them to a Sweet Sixteen, his father Lavar Ball became a public figure. Before the draft, Lonzo and his family brand(Big Baller Brand) came out with the ZO2, Lonzo’s first signature shoe. Come draft night, he’ll be the first person ever drafted with a signature shoe already. That kind of pioneering is what makes the Lakers great.
Lonzo is a true point guard, unlike the Laker’s current starting point guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell’s best games of the season all came when he was playing shooting guard, his natural position. Russell is a combo guard, but allowing him to be an offball scorer more than an onball facilitator makes him much more efficient. The Lakers have a growing young player at every position but point guard. They have Russell at the 2, Brandon Ingram playing small forward, Julius Randle at 4, and Ivica Zubac coming in at center. Assuming there are no big trades or draft picks, this starting five can grow together until they are a playoff team again.
Now that their ball dominant star Kobe Bryant called it quits after 20 years, the lakers don’t have a primary playmaker to rely on. Lonzo Ball’s athleticism, dribbling and passing ability changes that. Having someone to properly run the fastbreak and Luke Walton’s offense is important to the Lakers’ playoff dreams.
The Lakers should look at other prospects(Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, Markelle Fultz), but I doubt the Lakers will pick anyone but Lonzo for the job. Lakers fans might as well welcome him to the team.