Prior to and since the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, his father, LaVar Ball, has regularly made outlandish claims. They ranged from raving about Lonzo’s talent to the Lakers no longer wanting to play for head coach Luke Walton.
Beyond praising Lonzo, another of LaVar’s favorite talking points has been how his younger children, LiAngelo and LaMelo, would also wind up on the Lakers. In February, LaVar said Lonzo would not re-sign with the team if LiAngelo and LaMelo weren’t eventually added to the roster.
The first step toward that becoming a possibility, however remote, lies with LiAngelo. Despite being pulled out of his freshman season at UCLA, the 19-year-old entered into the 2018 NBA Draft. He’s begun team workouts and will go through a private session with the Lakers.
As for Lonzo’s contractual situation that will come to a head a few years down the line, LaVar maintains his son would accept less money on a new deal in effort to help the Lakers add talent, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
LaVar Ball reiterated that Lonzo Ball is willing to take less money on his next NBA contract so the Lakers can continue surrounding him with talent. He said the same goes for Gelo/LaMelo, if they join Lakers. He’s confident they’ll make enough off the court to sign at a discount.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 23, 2018
Assuming the Lakers exercise the options on Lonzo’s contract, he will remain with the team through the 2020-21 NBA season. At that point they would face a similar situation as to what Julius Randle is going through this summer as a restricted free agent.
Since drafting Lonzo, the Lakers have made it clear they intend for him to play a pivotal role in the franchise returning to its previous heights. How free agency unfolds this summer could change that, which would make LaVar’s remarks about signing for less a moot point.
Lonzo averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game this season, earning him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. The Lakers are hopeful he will build upon a successful rookie season, particularly in the weight room.
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