Lakers Reportedly 'Enamored' with Lonzo Ball

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2017

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball (2) leaves the court after UCLA lost to Kentucky in an NCAA college basketball tournament South Regional semifinal game Friday, March 24, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

We know LaVar Ball wants his son to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. We know Lonzo Ball wants it too—even if he's more diplomatic than his bombastic father.

It appears the Lakers are all-in on the UCLA prospect as well.

ESPN's Chad Ford reported the Lakers are "enamored" with Ball and believe he would "add star power to a team desperately in search of it."

Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game during his freshman season at UCLA. He is widely seen as one of the two best players in the 2017 NBA draft class, along with Washington's Markelle Fultz.

After spending his adolescence in the Los Angeles area at Chino Hills High School and playing at UCLA, Ball's desire to stay in L.A. is obvious. It's the nation's second-largest media market, and he's already a well-known commodity in the area. No disrespect intended to D'Angelo Russell or anyone on the Lakers' roster, but he'd instantly be the biggest star the moment he stepped in the locker room.

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LaVar Ball made headlines earlier this year when he said he wanted his son to stay local.

"All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I'm going to speak it into existence," LaVar Ball told ESPN.com. "I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn't saying he's only going to play for the Lakers."

Lonzo Ball, who grew up a Lakers fan, also admitted his dream is to play for his hometown franchise.

"At the end of the day, I'll play for any team," he said on ESPN's First Take. "The NBA is the NBA, but it would be a blessing to be able to play for the Lakers just because it’s in L.A., I’m from here, my whole family’s here."

There are still a number of hurdles in the way of a Lakers-Ball marriage. The first, of course, being the Lakers' need to land somewhere in the top three—and likely move up to No. 1 or No. 2. The Philadelphia 76ers hold the Lakers' first-round pick should it fall anywhere outside of the top three.

It's also an awkward fit from a basketball standpoint, given the presence of Russell and Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers could look to move one of the young guards this summer, but they're probably not going to get even return if teams know they have to make a move. It's the same issue the Sixers ran into when trading Nerlens Noel at the deadline. 

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