Now he, plus his brothers LaMelo Ball — a likely top-five pick in the upcoming draft — and LiAngelo have all moved to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, with Raymond Brothers as the primary agent. Jonathan Givony broke the story at ESPN.
“This was a family decision,” [LaMelo’s manager Jermaine] Jackson told ESPN. “This is now an extended family. They put together a beautiful game plan with Jay-Z. The basketball game is about to change. They are going to create something totally new…
“We talked to several agents, but the family had good vibes with Roc Nation,” Jackson told ESPN. “I’ve known Jay-Z since I played for the Knicks, but this is what the kids wanted to do. Jay-Z is a master at what he does. He’s global. It’s power beyond power.
“This is something that they are building from the ground up together. They are brothers and they love each other and that’s how they roll. It’s all love. They don’t separate from each other.”
We will see about all the family love; money and different agendas can tear at those bonds. Hopefully, for them, it doesn’t in this case. Of interest, there was no mention of father LaVar Ball in the ESPN story. He generated a lot of press when Lonzo signed with the Lakers, but he was a far bigger issue outside the locker room than distraction in it (NBA players are used to tuning out loud or overbearing parents, both teammates and their own).
Lonzo has developed into a solid NBA rotational guard, one who may have found a good fit in New Orleans throwing lobs to Zion Williamson. Lonzo has one more year on his current contract, at $11 million, before he hits restricted free agency (unless he and the Pelicans come to terms on an extension, which is a bit of a longshot but not impossible).
LaMelo Ball will be a high pick in this year’s underwhelming draft. He’s a player scouts see has having a wide variance: his handles and feel for the game (especially as a pick-and-roll ball handler) could make him an All-Star level player, but his shooting issues and lingering questions about his work ethic have some teams concerned about a low floor for him as well. LiAngelo Ball had just jumped to the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League when the coronavirus shut everything down.