The Los Angeles Lakers have been hard at work since finding out they will have the second pick in the NBA Draft. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been working out a number of draft prospects, but have yet to bring in the top guys for an up-close look.
The one player that many are anticipating coming in is UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, who has long been linked to the Lakers. He has openly said that he would prefer to play for his hometown team and his father LaVar has said that Lonzo will have the same impact as Magic himself had when drafted by the Lakers in 1979.
While that remains to be seen, Lonzo is certainly a favorite to be picked by the Lakers next month and has drawn comparisons to Magic because of his passing and court vision. Magic recently appeared on Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge, and LZ on ESPN Los Angeles and said Lonzo reminds him of himself:
Does anyone remind you of yourself at that young age in this year's draft?
"That's easy, Lonzo Ball"
— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) May 25, 2017
Magic’s ability to get the most out of his teammates was his greatest asset, and Lonzo showed he has that same ability at UCLA. The Bruins failed to make the tournament two years ago but became one of the top teams in the country, much of which had to do with Ball and his level of play.
The question now is whether Magic seeing some of himself in Lonzo is enough to make him select him in next month’s draft. That will likely depend on how individual workouts go. Magic has already been in contact with Ball’s representatives about scheduling a workout so he should be in the Lakers facility soon.
If he has a great showing, he will likely remain the favorite to be chosen by the Lakers, but Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox will also get long looks from the Lakers brass as well.