LaVar Ball Says Lakers Make Playoffs Next Year If They Draft Lonzo with 2nd Pick

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25:  LaVar Ball, father of Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins, watches the game against the USC Trojans at Galen Center on January 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

LaVar Ball isn't in the business of tempering expectations. 

Speaking to Lakers Nation's Ryan Ward following the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, the father of heralded prospect Lonzo Ball said he believes the Lakers will make the playoffs in 2017-18 if they draft his son at No. 2 overall. 

"Yes, it does," LaVar said, when asked if the Lakers' four-year playoff drought would end with Lonzo in tow. "The Lakers make the playoffs as soon as my boy gets there.

LaVar also said Lonzo—who currently only plans to work out for the Lakers, per Wardneeds to have a championship ring at the end of his seventh season to continue on the trajectory he's charted out for the former UCLA phenom. 

"So it's like this, I've given him a little guidance thing. Magic [Johnson] made it to the championship his rookie year. [Michael] Jordan took about seven years. So Zo got to get himself to a championship between now and seven years. That's what set you on the path to being the greatest." 

While LaVar may have high hopes for Lonzo's rookie season, a return to the playoffs may still be a couple years away for the Purple and Gold if this past season was any indication. 

During the 2016-17 campaign, the Lakers sputtered their way to 26 wins as they recorded a league-worst defensive rating (110.6) and league-worst net rating (minus-7.2 points per 100 possessions). The Lakers should improve on those marks next season as their young core continues to grow, but adding Lonzo to the mix may not be enough to vault the Lakers into the 40-win range immediately. 

Plus, if team president Magic Johnson's comments at the lottery were any indication, the Lakers don't appear intent on accelerating their contending timetable in free agency.

"I don't think we're going to be a major player this year," he said of the Lakers' approach to spending this offseason, according to the Los Angeles TimesTania Ganguli. "I'm looking forward to next summer."

Stats courtesy of NBA.com 

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