The NBA draft is just two months away and the middle Ball child, LiAngelo, isn’t anywhere to be found on draft boards across the league.
But don’t worry, LaVar Ball has a plan.
The patriarch of the Ball family has been very vocal about his desire to have all three of his sons not just play in the NBA, but for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he’s already gotten his oldest son Lonzo to the promised land.
LaVar is smarter than you think. Despite his claims about Lonzo being one of the best players of all time and how he could take down Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one, he got his son to the team of his choice and has spoken millions of dollars into existence for himself.
If I could have one super power, it would be that.
Getting LiAngelo to the Lakers is a much taller task however. After being caught shoplifting in China in November, LiAngelo was suspended indefinitely by UCLA and LaVar decided to pull him out of school to play professionally overseas with his youngest son, LaMelo. The brothers played in Lithuania for Vytautas Prienu this past season, and LiAngelo was their primary scorer, averaging 14.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting over 40 percent from deep.
While LiAngelo isn’t on any team’s draft boards, he declared in March, and the Lakers reportedly had a scout visit Lithuania to see him.
Regardless, LiAngelo’s chances of being drafted are astronomical, but LaVar has a couple of options to get him to Los Angeles, and which route he takes all depends on what satisfies him.
The NBA Summer League has become must-watch TV for fans because it gives them a first look at the young players, rookies and undrafted players who could be worth a roster spot come October. It’s where we were able to tell that players like Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell were going to be stars. LaVar will be pushing the Lakers to make a spot available on their summer team for LiAngelo.
Here, LiAngelo can prove if he’s able to play with legitimate NBA talent, and could possibly play his way into a G League two-way contract for the Lakers. If that fails, LaVar could push for the Lakers’ G League affiliate team, the South Bay Lakers, to open up a spot for his middle son.
If LaVar has no interest in sending LiAngelo to the G League without a two-way contract, then he can enact his long-term plan, which he has already made known to the public.
LaVar has said in the past that if LiAngelo isn’t taken by the Lakers, then he will go back to Lithuania to play for a couple years with LaMelo and wait for Lonzo’s rookie contract to expire with the Lakers. LaVar claims that he will thenl let every NBA team know that Lonzo will not resign with the Lakers if they don’t take all three of the Ball brothers.
While this sounds more like a threat than a promise, it in theory could work out this way. It all depends on Lonzo’s play these next two years.
Lonzo missed 30 games in his rookie season due to injury, but still averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game, very good numbers for a rookie point guard. It was very clear how much he helped the Lakers when he was on the floor, and in November, he became the youngest player in NBA history to post a triple-double.
If Lonzo turns out to be this incredible star, LaVar will be able to achieve his goal.
The Lakers would be willing to do anything to resign him, and what’s giving up your two-way G League contracts to the younger Ball brothers if you get to keep your star?
The future of the Ball dynasty may rest more on the shoulders of Lonzo than he realizes, but if we have learned anything over the past year, it’s to not doubt the Ball patriarch, because he knows how to get what he wants.