LaVar Ball totally called it.
He said the Los Angeles Lakers would keep their top-three pick, which they did. And then he said they’d use it to draft his son, Lonzo Ball, which they might.
Armed with the second-overall selection in this year’s draft, the Lakers are in prime Lonzo territory. Markelle Fultz is expected to go at No. 1, owned by the Boston Celtics, and Ball, Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson are all on relatively equal ground after him.
LaVar, for his part, seems to be doing everything to make his premonition come to true. According to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, Lonzo may not work out for the Celtics—or any other team that isn’t the Lakers:
Lonzo Ball will work out for the Lakers. That’s been clear from the start. But will he work out for the Celtics, who have the #1 pick? Or any other team in the lottery for that matter? Source close to the UCLA freshman says he’s undecided. “We will make that decision closer to June,” source says. Adding that it’s been “clear from the start our desired destination is Los Angeles.”
Top prospects tend to do this. Some of them don’t work out for any team. You reach a point where it can only hurt your draft stock. But if Ball’s camp goes this route, the intention is clear: coax the Celtics into passing on Lonzo for Markelle.
All of this may be unnecessary. The Celtics could decide to trade the pick, shifting the burden to another team. If they keep it, they might prefer Fultz, who’s considered the more apt franchise star and point guard. They can groom him until Isaiah Thomas leaves in free agency next summer, or they can try figuring out a way for the two to play together, with Fultz defending shooting guards. Hell, the Celtics could also throw the draft for a whirl by taking Tatum or Jackson. They’re not above these surprises.
They’re also not ones to let draft politics get in the way of their ultimate decision.
If Ball is the highest rated prospect on their board, you better bet team president Danny Ainge will take him, irrespective of whether he’s worked out for them.