Lonzo Ball: ‘It would be a blessing to be able to play for the Lakers’
After a disheartening loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball has his eyes set on the NBA, a place he knew all along he was destined to be.
The swift-handed 6-foot-6 guard admits he won’t pull a Steve Francis and will play for whichever team selects him — and would be honored to be selected by his hometown Los Angeles Lakers if they were to do so.
“The NBA is the NBA, but it would be a blessing to be able to play for the Lakers,” the Chino Hills native said on ESPN’s “First Take. “It’s in L.A., I’m from here, my whole family’s here.”
Ball is expected to be a lottery pick this year — his natural playmaking instincts at his size and overall floor game could be a great asset for any team looking to improve their depth at the guard position.
But as any college player, Ball has many rough edges to polish, being far from a finished product. His shot, although efficient, is mechanically incorrect — an issue that is expected to be addressed when he comes into training camp, given that NBA competition will have no mercy when it comes to defending his shot, with faster, stronger and technically efficient defenders on every roster.
LaVar Ball, the often-loudmouthed father of Lonzo, said earlier this year that his son would only play for Los Angeles, before taking back said words shortly after.
With a 21-52 win-loss record, the Lakers currently have a 55.7 percent chance of landing a top-three pick for the 2017 NBA Draft in June. If they happen to fall out of the top three, the team would be forced to surrender its pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.