The Los Angeles Lakers emerged from a tense NBA Draft Lottery with the second overall pick and now speculation is running rampant about just who they will select. Most draft boards have them taking UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, but they are also rumored to be interested in De’Aaron Fox and Josh Jackson as well, and certainly, would have to consider Markelle Fultz should the Boston Celtics pass on him with the first pick.
Of course, Ball comes with some question marks both on the court and off. His shooting stroke is awkward and his father, LaVar, is known for his controversial comments. Now, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal has thrown in his two cents in a quick interview with TMZ Sports:
Shaq: There is a lot of speculation that they’re gonna dangle [the pick] to other teams or possibly get a big free agent. And then there’s another speculation that they may take the Ball kid.
TMZ: Would you be nervous to take Ball?
Shaq: No I wouldn’t be nervous to take Ball, he’s actually a fabulous player.
It’s easy for Shaq to say since he won’t have to work with the Ball family on a daily basis, but that doesn’t’ necessarily mean he’s wrong, either. For as much controversy as the Ball family patriarch can create, the bottom line is that Lonzo can really play, and because of that the Lakers have to seriously consider drafting him.
After all, it’s Lonzo who would be actually putting on a purple and gold jersey, not his dad. Given Luke Walton’s offense, which encourages ball movement, Lonzo would appear to be an excellent -and much needed- fit in Los Angeles.
There are a number of players that GM Rob Pelinka and President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will consider selecting, but Shaq believes LaVar Ball’s outspoken ways shouldn’t stop them from selecting Lonzo if they believe he is the best player available and it’s hard to argue that point.