Celtics-Lakers atop NBA Draft as the Balls make moves

LaVar Ball says Lonzo will only work out for Lakers

The NBA Draft Lottery occurred on Tuesday night, and resulted in some relatively expected slots, but still potentially franchise changers. The Boston Celtics, who were propped up by a trade with the Brooklyn Nets that got them rights to the Nets’ first round pick this year, will be the team with the first overall selection in this year’s draft. The Los Angeles Lakers wound up with the second overall pick, and the Philadelphia 76ers, thanks to a pick-swap clause with the Sacramento Kings, will hold the third pick in the draft. The Phoenix Suns were the worst team not selected by the lottery, and will pick fourth in the draft.

These results come as LaVar Ball and his son Lonzo are angling for a spot with the Los Angeles Lakers, despite that signature team holding the second pick for what some expect to be the first player off the board. According to LaVar Ball, Lonzo will only participate in pre-draft workouts with the Lakers, presumably in an effort to discourage the Celtics from selecting Ball first overall. Ball played one season of college basketball at UCLA, and played at Chino Hills High School, so the family has a strong connection to southern California and would prefer to stay there. LaVar Ball has also touted the huge spike in success Los Angeles’ basketball team will receive in selecting Ball, saying that “The Lakers make the playoffs as soon as my boy gets there.” The difference in base salary between a first overall and second overall selection is more than $2 million, but it seems LaVar Ball is gambling that success in Los Angeles will lead to more lucrative merchandising deals than what Lonzo could procure in Boston.

As for the Celtics, they will most likely be deciding between Ball and Markelle Fultz out of Washington. Both players are at the position of guard. In addition to Ball and Fultz, the Lakers are scouting Jayson Tatum, Duke forward; Josh Jackson, Kansas forward; and De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky guard.

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