Recent Los Angeles Lakers rumors go back to the 2017 NBA Draft, as there is speculation that the leader of the Showtime era preferred De’Aaron Fox over Lonzo Ball in 2017.
Los Angeles Lakers rumors have dominated headlines with the NBA Trade Deadline passing on Thursday afternoon. However, a recent rumor involving the purple and gold goes back to the 2017 NBA Draft.
Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball in 2017, the scrutiny has been an ongoing thing. If Ball has a good night, fans are silent. However, if he has a bad performance the next time out, folks are constantly curious as to whether President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson made the right choice.
Certainly, that has been part of the issue in terms of Ball. While he has shown flashes of what he is capable of, the second-year player has lacked consistency since he came into the league.
Moreover, what does not help is the health factor. Ball missed 30 games last season on account of injuries. A similar theme has rung true this year as well.
Ball has missed eight consecutive games with a left ankle sprain that he suffered against the Houston Rockets back on January 19.
It has admittedly become a concern at this point. Ball is the furthest thing from old and has already had several injuries in his first two seasons. Elements of this nature, along with the never-ending pressure put on him by the media, cause one to wonder if he will ever reach his true potential.
Now, it is not to say Ball has been an absolute disaster for the Lakers. He has proven that he is an above average passer and, at times, has looked like the squad’s best perimeter defender.
Nevertheless, outside of the health worries, there is one particular thing that is striking about Lonzo. The point guard has never been all too aggressive.
He has been called on it on more than one occasion and, yet again, it is one of those departments fans have only seen flashes of. No. 2 has rarely played with this fearless, “in your face” type demeanor.
That being said, it causes one to think whether Magic chose wisely back in the 2017 NBA draft.
Originally via Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, Magic would have gotten the latter if not for owner Jeanie Buss.
“What I’m about to say, Magic Johnson would categorically probably deny,” said Smith on ESPN Radio. “That’s my friend, my brother. I love him. If Magic Johnson was sitting next to me on national television and he said opposite or contrary to what I’m about to tell you, I’d tell him, ‘That’s a lie, and you know it.’ Magic Johnson would not have drafted Lonzo Ball if were not for Jeanie Buss.”
If any of this is valid, it is extremely interesting to be aware of this notion. Granted, Smith can be delusional, his thoughts are not without substance.
Ball has not exactly been the “perfect” fit for Los Angeles. It honestly boils down to that. Albeit, calling him a total bust is a stretch, he has not been the savior some people hoped he would be.
Another key point worth consideration likewise comes from Smith. According to Ryan Long of Fadeaway World, Buss was keen on drafting the former UCLA Bruin for money-oriented reasons.
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In other words, she was sold on Lonzo on account of the marketing strategies his father, LaVar, implemented prior to the draft. Buss had all the faith in the world that Zo would be a star and thus cause Staples Center to be the destination site in the City of Angels.
This by itself brings up something worth examination. Did she truly want Ball for basketball reasons, or more so to gain instant gratification?
Certainly, Magic is of the breed that fits the former of the two. Therefore, if he really had his sights set on Fox, it is hard to blame the guy. The Kings’ playmaker had a fine college career.
Without a doubt, Fox’s skills have transferred to the next level. He is enjoying a good sophomore campaign with the Sacramento Kings. It spurs many to wonder if Magic had a rewind button at his disposal if he would press it.
Of course, it is remarkably easy to use the word “if” at this juncture. The past cannot be reversed, though, despite the various options the Lakers had that summer.
One can only hope that Ball can return from his current injury as strong as ever. In a perfect world, it would be great to see a more determined, driven version of Lonzo. It is one of the primary ingredients that has been lacking.
It would help validate Buss’ pick, assuming she was actually the one who yearned for Ball to be in a Lakers uniform.
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