Although Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has had an up-and-down season on the court, he has excelled in one area: not letting the words of his father LaVar get in the way of his job.
There are far too many LaVar moments to list, but the last time that he made headlines, he insinuated that coach Luke Walton had lost the Lakers’ locker room, saying the players didn’t trust him anymore.
While it’s probably always best to ignore what comes out of LaVar’s mouth, he said something on Monday that could have gigantic consequences on not only the future of his son but also the Lakers franchise as a whole.
Speaking with Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonis, the elder Ball looked into his crystal ball and predicted the future.
Lakers fans might want to stop reading here.
“I want all my three boys to play for the Lakers. But if that does not happen, I’m telling you the story what’s gonna happen first. If they don’t take Gelo this year, I being back Gelo here (Prienai) to play with Melo for two years. Lonzo will be on his third year and I want let every NBA team know, that Lonzo is not going to resign with the Lakers but will go to any team that will take all of my three boys. That’s my plan,” LaVar explained.
It’s clear that LaVar’s timeline doesn’t make much sense. Lonzo is under contract through the 2020-2021 season and the Lakers have team options on the final two years of it, like with any first round pick. They will have absolutely no reason to decline those if he produces on the court, which, by all accounts, he will have a strong chance of doing. The Lakers could also make him a restricted free agent in 2021 if they don’t sign him to an extension by then, which means that the earliest possible time that Lonzo could choose to leave LA would be in the summer of 2022.
But, LaVar has it all figured out when it comes to the Lakers signing his middle son LiAngelo.
“We don’t have to go any draft,” he explained. “Just sign him in free agency. You don’t have to give Gelo 15M. Give my million for three years, we’ll take it. Cause they make so much money off the court.”
When all three Ball brothers make it to the Lakers, LaVar is convinced that they’re going to win title after title for their hometown team.
“So now you win championship after championship on fact that my boys will never leave,” he explained. “That’s what I mean championship, championship, championship. You got to keep the team together for a long time, but you can’t because more money is offered, that’s why guys jumping between the teams. But what’s better than three Ball boys together? The Big Three. The original Big Three.”
Although LaVar’s comments are preposterous to the majority of people that come across them, they raise huge questions when it comes to the future of Lonzo and the Lakers.
Is he being truthful? Would Lonzo actually leave LA to play alongside his brothers? What would happen if his brothers didn’t make the NBA? (Since LiAngelo is a low-level prospect at best and LaMelo certainly is a long way away from becoming an NBA-ready player, there’s a strong chance that neither one makes it.)
More importantly for Los Angeles, what effect does LaVar’s words have on their chances of landing high-level free agents like LeBron James and Paul George? At what point must the organization do something? Can they even do anything?
It will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.