UCLA Bruins star Lonzo Ball is expected to be a top-three pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The Los Angeles Lakers emerged as his top landing spot in the upcoming offseason and Ball believes he could be the next Magic Johnson of the purple and gold.
“I watched tape on Magic when I was young,” Ball told The Vertical, “and it’s why you can see it in my game. He liked to pass, I like to pass. He was a big point guard, I’m a big point guard. And I feel the way the game is played means a lot to him and me.”
Lonzo Ball wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers ended the 2016-17 NBA season as the third worst team in the league. This gives them a higher chance to keep their 2017 first-round pick and add another young, talented player on their team. Having the third-worst record, the Lakers are in a strong position to land the third overall pick with the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns selecting first and second, respectively.
In most mock drafts, the Lakers are projected to draft Lonzo Ball, a 6-foot-6 point guard who played only one season with the UCLA Bruins. Ball could be Magic Johnson’s first selection since becoming the Lakers president of basketball operations. In the past months, Ball expressed his intention to play for the purple and gold, saying he would rather join the Lakers than becoming the first overall pick.
“The Lakers are in L.A., and they’re close to home,” Ball told The Vertical. “This is where all my family is. Hopefully, they have a nice pick and they have a chance to get me. I want this to be realistic. Just being very family-oriented, to play in front of them would mean a lot to me. The Lakers are a young team and they have a lot of young talent.”
Lonzo Ball wants to learn from Lakers legend Magic Johnson
Lonzo Ball will undeniably be a great fit with the Lakers, playing alongside D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. He believes he can learn a lot from Magic Johnson. Ball described Johnson as the “best point guard to ever play the game.”
Though it’s too early to predict that he’ll be the next “Magic”, there are lots of similarities between Ball and Johnson. Both of them are big point guards and good passers. If the Lakers select him in the upcoming draft, Ball will have the opportunity to pick Johnson’s mind.
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