Lonzo Ball is a 6’6″ point guard who has incredible court vision and passing skills, whose ability to play in transition transformed UCLA this past season into one of the better teams in the nation.
However, he has some weaknesses — he isn’t strong as a pick-and-roll point guard, and his funky shooting stroke doesn’t work as well off the dribble — that have teams being hesitant.
Including the Lakers at No. 2. While most mock drafts still have the Lakers taking Ball, there are more and more rumblings that the Lakers are not sold. The latest of those comes from Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post.
This time of year there are so many smokescreens by teams that it’s like being at a Cypress Hill concert. This could be part of that, the Lakers are reportedly testing the trade market for Jordan Clarkson which suggests they will take Ball.
I will say I’ve heard most teams don’t care about LaVar. They see him as a manageable distraction.
Most scouts have Ball second in this draft, but Josh Jackson out of Kansas is not as far behind as some think. De'Aaron Fox is climbing everybody’s board (and did outplay Ball head-to-head twice). While Ball is considered top two by most, not everyone is sold on Ball, one scout told me he sees Ball as a future solid NBA starting point guard, nothing more (not an All-Star player). The question for everyone in the draft is how much are they willing to put in the work to improve their weaknesses
The Lakers are not good enough to be thinking of drafting for need — what they need is talent. They need the best guy on the board. If they work out Jackson and rate him higher, then take him. If they love Fox, take him. They can’t take Ball just because it plays well with the fan base (the Southern California kid playing for his hometown team), if whoever they draft plays well the fans will come around. However, if they have Ball second, take him. (And why throw out a smokescreen, to throw Boston off? They’re taking Markelle Fultz.)