by Colin Ward-Henninger
For all of his bombastic rhetoric and swagger, you have to give LaVar Ball credit when it’s due. Before the NBA Draft lottery even took place, he predicted that the Lakers would get the No. 2 pick and would use it to select his son, Lonzo.
That’s exactly what happened, and LaVar was the first to let us know about it, saying that he “spoke it into existence.” Now there’s something else LaVar is trying to speak into existence, and it involves Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James. Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints asked LaVar if he felt Lonzo and LeBron would be a good fit on the Lakers. Via ClutchPoints:
“Let me tell you this, it would be a great fit, and LeBron is coming to L.A. What’s in Cleveland? You want to be a superstar, man. Superstar franchise.
“It’s going to be like this, and I’m talking about reality. He’s going to say, ‘You know what? I went to Miami. Won a championship. Brought one back to my hometown. I’m the only one to go to three different places and bring a championship.’
“You do not give Lonzo Ball the best player in the game and don’t think they going to win! He is going to fall in love with Lonzo so much on the way that he play. They both understand the game. Best player in the game and you don’t think he coming? Stop it!”
Well there you have it. The most surprising part of the quote is that LaVar (possibly accidentally) admitted that Lonzo isn’t the best basketball player in the world. In March, LaVar said that Lonzo, while still at UCLA, was already better than LeBron James, but it appears he’s backed off that stance in the spirit of recruitment.
In all seriousness, it’s been reported for a long time that If he chooses to become a free agent next summer, the Lakers will likely be the most discussed potential destination, barring something crazy happening during the season.
As for fit, LeBron and Lonzo are both cut from the same cloth, team-first ball-handlers who look to get others involved. Since he would be in the later stage of his career, LeBron might be excited to relinquish the majority of his ball-handling duties to Lonzo and take more of a scoring role. He could even eventually move to the power forward position and exploit matchups with his underutilized post-up game, much like Michael Jordan did in his final years with the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers have the pieces in place to be a winner, but they’re very young. Even if Lonzo, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle develop at a reasonable pace, they’ll need to pick up at least one more established star in addition to LeBron to be considered contenders next season. If only there was an All-Star small forward out there who really wants to join the Lakers …
A “big three” of Lonzo Ball, LeBron James and Paul George, mixed in with the Lakers’ existing young pieces, would have to immediately be thrown into the championship discussion. But, maybe we should let Lonzo play an NBA game before we start talking about dynasties.