LaVar Ball, no matter what controversy he invites, is managing the career of one of the most promising prospects in the 2017 NBA draft. So, as much as you might want to ignore him and focus on basketball, what he says matters for basketball.
And he says his son, Lonzo Ball, will have an exclusive workout schedule.
“That’s all we working out for is the Lakers,” said LaVar. “Just the Lakers. There’s nobody else that we need to workout for.”
This will probably work well for the Balls. Markelle Fultz is the consensus top prospect, and Boston will likely take him No. 1. Lonzo is the consensus second prospect, and the Lakers will probably draft him No. 2.
But there is downside to this plan. The No. 1 pick will earn about $4 million more than the No. 2 pick over a four-year rookie-scale contract, and Ball is decreasing his chances of the Celtics drafting him (though they still could anyway). Ball also risks the Lakers passing on him and other teams – 76ers at No. 3, Suns at No. 4, Kings at No. 5, etc. – also passing because they don’t know enough about him. There’s a floor on a potential fall, because Lonzo looked so good at UCLA. But the possibility of a small tumble, and commensurate financial loss, exists.
If the Balls get indication closer to the draft the Lakers might not pick him, Lonzo could always work out with other teams. This makes sense as an initial plan, not one to keep at all costs.
Teams hold so much control over players entering the NBA. Managing their own workout destinations is one way players hold leverage in the process. If Lonzo prioritizes playing in Los Angeles, more power to him.