LaVar Ball Says Lonzo Will Help Zion, Rips Lakers for Anthony Davis Trade

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 31: LaVar Ball presents an award to son LaMelo Ball after the Big Baller Brand All American Game at the Orleans Arena on March 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Cassy Athena/Getty Images

LaVar Ball made another appearance on ESPN's First Take on Monday. As always, it was a soundbite fest filled with comments that jumped from logical to ludicrous to hilarious with little rhyme or reason.

The most notable among them: LaVar believes in Lonzo Ball's future partnership with Zion Williamson on the New Orleans Pelicans and thinks his son got away from the Los Angeles Lakers at the perfect time.

"[Lonzo] will help Zion's game because Zion knows what he's about. Zo gonna give him the ball and make him better than what he is. On the fact he's young, he likes to run. Lonzo is gonna give him the ball early. He's gonna be ready to jump, catch lobs. He's going to have a great time of having fun because Lonzo is infectious like that. Being at that young age, they're going to get along because the core is so young."

The Pelicans plan to select Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's draft. Ball became their point guard of the future over the weekend when they agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in Thursday's draft, two future first-round picks and a first-round pick swap in 2023.

If you hear LaVar tell it, the deal was part of his plan all along. 

First Take @FirstTake

All along, LaVar says he wanted Lonzo on the Pelicans. https://t.co/qOahNYOSyk

"These suckas, I'm playing chess, y'all playing checkers. The best way to get Lonzo out of L.A. was I said, 'You know what, I don't like New Orleans. Lonzo ain't going nowhere. He's the best in the world. L.A. Lakers ain't never gonna let him go.' First thing they do is exactly what I want them to do and let him go because it's raggedy over there.

"...The Lakers is all crashing down. Like I said before, they had to change the coach. They end up changing the coach. Even if Lonzo stayed there, he's not going to have a great feeling on the fact they didn't believe in him the first time. Don't come at him now talking about, 'Oh, we're trying to win, we believe in you now.' You can't really believe that."

LaVar previously expressed a desire for Lonzo to play in Phoenix rather than New Orleans.

"We want to be in L.A.," LaVar Ball told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk in February. "But if he's traded, I don't want Lonzo in New Orleans. Phoenix is the best fit for him. And I am going to speak it into existence."

While LaVar said on First Take that he wanted Lonzo in New Orleans all along, it's fair to wonder if he's much more comfortable with the move after the Pelicans won the lottery. Williamson is a near-perfect pick-and-roll partner with Lonzo, and he is a powerful in-game dunker with a varied skill set that makes him a no-brainer at No. 1.

As for a future No. 1 pick, LaVar said his youngest son, LaMelo, will be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft. LaMelo will not be eligible to play college basketball next season and is expected to prepare for the 2020 draft overseas or in the United States. 

The Lakers, meanwhile, gave up a borderline unprecedented haul to pair LeBron James with Davis. The only member of their young core remaining is Kyle Kuzma, who will slot in the frontcourt alongside the two franchise faces. 

The Lakers will likely prioritize inking Ball's replacement in free agency. Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker are considered among their prime targets, though the Lakers' ability to sign either player will be dependent on the timing of when the Davis trade becomes finalized.